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