Healthy Food Shortage: How Cities Can Use Federal Meals Programs to Reduce Childhood Hunger and Obesity

  • Date: April 18, 2012
  • Location: Online
  • Category: Webinar Archive


As communities experience growing childhood hunger and reports show a plateau in the nation’s elevated childhood obesity rate, this webinar will describe how municipal leaders can leverage federal nutrition assistance program funding to combat these interconnected crises.  Federal programs such as school breakfasts and lunches, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Afterschool Meal Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Food Care Program can help cities ensure more children from low-income families receive adequate nutrition to grow up healthy and succeed in school.  Municipal officials in particular can play a vital role in attracting these federal funds to their communities, thereby supporting families and boosting the local economy.
As a consequence of the severe financial strain imposed on families by the recession, many children participating in out-of-school time programs rely on federally-subsidized breakfast, snack and supper programs to provide them with nutritious meals.  These programs have a dual benefit of closing nutritional gaps and attracting children to high-quality out-of-school-time programs, where they can be active, engaged and safe while their parents are at work.  The programs help combat obesity among struggling families who can only afford cheaper, high-calorie, low-nutrition foods.
This webinar will focus on a range of topics surrounding the issue of childhood hunger and obesity in our nation’s cities.  Listeners will learn how cities can access federal funding to support afterschool supper programs and how these programs can be improved to reach more children.  They will also hear about strategies for partnering with schools, nonprofits and other stakeholders to help out-of-school time programs establish eligibility to receive federal reimbursement and meet the nutritional needs of young people during the school year, summer time and out-of-school hours.  
Representatives from cities will describe how they have managed different federal nutrition programs in their communities, what impacts and challenges they have encountered, and what advice they have for other cities preparing to engage in the process.  Additionally, experts in the field of nutrition and wellness will discuss how federal nutrition programs can help local leaders address the childhood obesity epidemic in their communities by expanding access to healthier food.
Speakers will include:
- Jeff Greenfield, Manager, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, Office of Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships & Outreach, Food & Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Lavetta McCoy, Nutrition Manager, Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services, City of Las Vegas, Nev.
- Jim Weill, President, Food Research and Action Center, Washington, D.C.


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