Educators, health and business communities and nonprofits gathered in September at Lorain County Community College to discuss that issue at the first Child Hunger Summit sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.
The purpose of the Summit was to drive awareness of child hunger, develop strategies to address the need and empower participants to take action. The keynote speaker during lunch was First Lady of Ohio, Fran DeWine. Tiffany Tarpley, anchor and reporter for WKYC-TV3 and Lorain native helped emcee the event.
John Corlett, President and Executive Director of the Center for Community Solutions was the featured speaker on the complex issue of child hunger. Corlett facilitated a panel discussion on the implications of food scarcity on the whole child joined by Lisa Mayse-Lillig, Feeding America; Chloe Plummer, ProMedica Health Systems, Ann Schloss, Elyria Schools, Kevin Nelson, Northwest Bank and Doris Woodwards-Davila, Educational Service Centers of Lorain.
The summit included interactive sessions and focus group discussions in education, healthcare and innovate programming to encourage sharing of ideas and feedback. All attendees left with a toolkit and a slate of actions.
Julie Chase-Morefield, President & CEO of Second Harvest said, “We work with over 112 partner charities and eight school districts throughout the region to ensure children have enough to eat year-round. Despite our work, hunger still affects far too many children and their families. The impact on their health, ability to learn and ultimately on the long-term economic implications of this are tremendous and it does not have to be that way.”
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine also stopped by the summit to speak about child hunger. "We know the harm hunger does to children," she said. "It creates mental problems and physical health problems that can last their whole lifetime. It makes learning and concentrating in school very difficult if they're hungry. We know that what we do now to help kids will have an impact in society for many years ahead."
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