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March 2016

Healthy School Lunch pic

Healthy School Lunch pic

Too Hungry to Learn

Summit Focuses on the Impact of Hunger on Educational Outcomes

Can we really close the academic achievement gap when one in three local kids struggles with hunger? Learn more at the 8th annual Hunger Action Summit at Santa Clara University.

What:     The eighth annual Hunger Action Summit, presented by Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, will examine the impact hunger has on educational outcomes. It will also explore what we can do to ensure that the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs has access to the nutritious food they need to succeed academically. The inability to perform due to hunger translates into lower academic achievement, compromised job opportunities, and a diminished future. Summit speakers will make the compelling case that hunger needs a seat at the table when addressing local education goals such as closing the academic achievement gap, raising third-grade reading scores, and increasing graduation rates.

The summit, titled “Too Hungry to Learn,” will include provocative discussions by education leaders who have been working on these goals, as well as anti-hunger advocates and food policy experts.

Santa Clara University and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties will also release new data that shows a slight decline in the local “meal gap.” S. Andrew Starbird, director of the My Own Business Institute at Santa Clara University, will present new findings from the annual Hunger Index.

When:        Tuesday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:    Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 95053

Who:    The Hunger Action Summit is organized by Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and its Food and Agribusiness Institute.

Speaker highlights:

Chef Ann Cooper (“The Renegade Lunch Lady”), director of Nutrition Services at the Boulder Valley School District and internationally known author, chef, and advocate for healthy school meals, will share how schools can ensure that every child has access to the nutritious food they need to learn.

A panel discussion on the effects of hunger on education will include Anne E. Campbell, county superintendent of schools, San Mateo County Office of Education and The Big Lift Initiative; Meredith Liu, president and COO, The Primary School, East Palo Alto; Melissa Johns, executive director, Breakthrough Silicon Valley; Adolfo Leiva, director of SparkPoint Center, Cañada College; and Joshua Russell, vice president, Silicon Valley market manager, enterprise business and community engagement, Bank of America. Panelists will talk about how they are partnering with county leaders and community-based organizations to close the achievement gap, improve third-grade reading proficiency, and ensure that kids have enough to eat.

Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, will make the case that hunger is a foundational issue and should be at the table when pressing educational issues are discussed. Making sure kids can eat is one way to end the cycle of poverty. She will talk about the innovative ways that Second Harvest is working with schools and other organizations to provide kids and their families with the healthy food they need to thrive.

Dr. Sandra G. Hassink, immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, will talk about the impact of nutrition on kids’ health and how that translates into policy, advocacy, and education for children and their families.

Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs, Food Research and Action Center; Tia Shimada, director of programs, California Food Policy Advocates; and Cindy McCown, vice president of community engagement and policy, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, will explore how to leverage opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels to expand food and nutrition services throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Click here to see the entire program.

Why:    The Hunger Action Summit is designed to spark conversation and inspire action to end local hunger.

Media Contacts:

Caitlin Kerk | Second Harvest Food Bank | | 408-858-9208 cell
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-768-6898 cell

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