What is Food Insecurity?

The 7th Annual Dallas Hunger Summit Sets Record Attendance!

The 2018 Dallas Hunger Summit had record attendance with over 260 at the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center in Fair Park! Participants represented community sectors including education, social service, business, health, faith and government.

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This year’s theme, Going from Hunger to Health, shaped the discussion on how access to healthy food is an important issue for children, families and households in our community. Hunger Summit speakers and attendees explored the connections between hunger, nutrition and health and the implications for our healthcare system in North Texas.

The opening speaker, Dr. Donald Wesson, President of Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness Center, set the collaborative tone for the day. In charging the audience to assume responsibility for our community’s health, he exhorted, “It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to do population health.” You can see his entire presentation here: Assuming Accountability for a Healthier Community

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Wende Burton, Senior Philanthropy Director for the Communities Foundation of Texas, followed with a presentation on the Dallas Economic Opportunity Assessment. She examined the factors in this report that are contributing to an increase in poverty and income inequality in Dallas County, and their intersection with health. View her presentation here: Dallas Economic Opportunity Assessment

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A panel of strategists from area health and hospital systems – UT Southwestern, Parkland, Methodist, Baylor Scott & White and Children’s Health – discussed what they’re seeing as a result of food insecurity and malnutrition in their patient populations.  The audience also learned about what they’re doing to address the health implications.

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A highlight of the event was the reveal of the Dallas Community Food Assessment Map. This new online tool, available here, compiles data about income, health, food retail, community gardens, farmers markets and supplemental meal sources into an interactive map. Heather Lepeska, City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, introduced and demonstrated the benefits of this innovative tool to the community for the first time at this year’s Hunger Summit. See her presentation here: Dallas Community Food Assessment Map,

Valerie Hawthorne PhD, Government Relations Director for the North Texas Food Bank, provided a lesson in Understanding and Impacting Hunger Policy. See her presentation here: Understanding and Impacting Hunger Policy

The event closed with remarks from Steve Love, President and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council. His presentation, an overview of the impact of food insecurity on the north Texas healthcare system, can be found here: Impact of Food Insecurity on the North Texas Healthcare System

This year’s Dallas Hunger Summit brought together amazing experts and practitioners who instructed, challenged and inspired the audience to do all that it could to address hunger and promote health through collaboration and innovation.

This piece contributed to the blog by Wyonella Henderson-Greene, Coalition Coordinator

Urban gardeners come together to partner and learn!

The Urban Agriculture Action Team and GROW North Texas held a free urban gardening workshop at the end of June. Anyone interested in starting an urban garden or already cultivating a garden project, but still had questions, was invited to attend.

Over 40 participants networked and partnered with other urban gardeners at Owenwood Farm and Neighbor Space during a hands-on, in-garden experience. Eager to dig in the dirt, they arrived for an early start and by the end of the morning had built 6 raised beds from the ground up for a teaching garden at Owenwood.

In the process, they learned about maximizing soil for growing success, planting with transplants, mulching options and brewing compost tea. When all was said and done, attendees had acquired skills to boost their chances of future gardening success and received free seeds, too!

A free follow-up workshop that will prepare novices for a fall garden at your home or community garden will be held on August 25th at Owenwood Farm. The workshop is aimed at those just getting started, but anyone is welcome to come and brush up on knowledge!

Please register so that we know you’re coming!


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The Intersection of Senior Health and Food Insecurity

Representatives of Parkland Health and Hospital System’s Geriatrics Program spoke to the Coalition’s Senior Hunger Action Team at its recent meeting. Geriatrics Program Director Jane Hunley and Kara Davis, Geriatrics Clinic and Senior Services Clinical Dietitian, highlighted food insecurity and older adult nutrition. Among the concerns presented:

-2 million older adults in 2012 were among the 14.6% of food insecure households in America and the older population is growing

-there is a connection between food insecurity and health; 1 in 3 North Texas Food Bank clients is affected with diabetes

-2/3 of North Texas Food Bank households report having to choose between food and paying for medical care

Other Information included community resources and how Parkland is connecting senior patients to these programs and initiatives, as well as innovations that it’s using to deliver more individualized patient care.

For the complete presentation, click here: Hunger and Food Insecurity-Older Adults 5.2.18

~Wyonella Henderson-Greene, Coalition Coordinator

Recipe for a successful community garden? Start with community. Add garden!

The Urban Agriculture Action Team of the Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions recently held a workshop to develop dynamic community garden leaders for sustainable community garden projects.

Cultivating Community: Growing Your Community Garden was hosted by coalition partner State Fair of Texas in their new Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center inside Fair Park. Urban Agriculture Action Team collaborators Anita Mills of GROW North Texas and  Amanda Vanhoozier, founder of  the blog Just Picked Texas, teamed up to share their expertise on best practices for creating community gardens that last.

See tips for success here: 10 Steps to Start a Community Garden

More learning opportunities organized by the Urban Agriculture Action Team to increase local, sustainable food production are coming this year!

~Wyonella Henderson-Greene, Coalition Coordinator