Panel Session Synopsis
Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger
The Effects of Poverty and the Increase in Need
Moderated by: Tracy Davidson* (News Anchor, NBC 10)
- Mariana Chilton, PhD MPH Drexel University, Director, Witnesses to Hunger
- Edward Zogby, Director Bureau of Policy, Department of Welfare
- Lynda Kugel, Director of Self-Sufficiency, PathwaysPA
- Rachel Cooper, Senior Policy Analyst, FRAC
In 2009 the Census Bureau reported 25% of the Philadelphia population as living in poverty. This statistic is all too common across the US. These experts will talk about the continuing increase in need and potential solutions to combat poverty.
Strategically Addressing Food Access in Pennsylvania
- Yael Lehmann, Executive Director, The Food Trust
- Don Hinkle-Brown, CEO, The Reinvestment Fund
- Elaine Waxman, VP for Research and Partnerships, Feeding America
- Bill Clark, Executive Director, Philabundance
Learn how organizations across the US are strategically promoting affordable, nutritious foods and healthy diets for everyone. This panel of experts from across the country will share successful initiatives to increase food access to those in need.
Mari Gallagher has earned herself a national reputation as an expert on food deserts. As the principal of The Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group, she has conducted groundbreaking work on food deserts.
Her work on the issue includes her publication “Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago,” a breakthrough study which helped popularized the term “food desert” across the country. She was the first to develop a block-by-block metric for “food deserts” and “food balance” linked with health measures, and has since expanded similar work to other areas including Detroit, Harlem, and Los Angeles. This work motivated Congressman Bobby Rush to address the problem of food deserts through the Farm Bill, which includes initiatives to help low-income people get access to fresh and healthy food. Her work also motivated the Congressman to mandate a follow-on study be completed by the USDA.
In addition, Ms. Gallagher is the founding president of the National Center for Public Research and an adjunct associate professor at the Institute on Urban Health Research at Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University and has done work focusing on “going green,” immigration, health and wellness projects.
She has made numerous appearances across the country where she has given presentations on her knowledge on food deserts. Such appearances have included the Food Policy Summit in Chicago, The National Food Pantry Conference in New Orleans, The YMCA National Conference in Washington, DC, and a sold out TED audience at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Her over 20 years of work on diverse, high-impact projects have resulted in her being honored with dozens of awards from various institutions such as the University of Illinois, the Boy Scouts of America, and The American Heart Association. Her work is often covered by USA Today, National Public Radio, CNN and numerous other outlets, and she, herself, writes for the Huffington Post.
Joel Berg is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of hunger and food security, national and community service, and technical assistance provision to faith-based and community organizations. He is also author of the book All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?, and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Before becoming executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger in 2001, Berg served two years as USDA coordinator of community food security, a new position, in which he created and implemented the first-ever federal initiative to better enable faith-based and other nonprofit groups to fight hunger, bolster food security, and help low-income Americans move from poverty to self-sufficiency.
He was USDA coordinator of food recovery and gleaning the previous two years and also served as director of national service, director of public liaison, and as acting director of public affairs and press secretary. From 1989 to 1993, he served as a policy analyst for the Progressive Policy Institute and a domestic policy staff member for the President-elect Bill Clinton’s transition team. He is a graduate of Columbia University.
Dr. Mariana Chilton is a nationally recognized leader addressing child hunger in America. She is an Associate Professor at Drexel University School of Public Health. She is the Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, formerly known as The Philadelphia GROW Project and Co-Principal Investigator of Children’s HealthWatch. Dr. Chilton founded Witnesses to Hunger to increase women’s participation in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty.
Dr. Chilton received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma, and Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University. She has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on the importance of child nutrition programs and other antipoverty policies. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, public radio and CBS National News.
Mr. Edward J. Zogby is the Director of the Bureau of Policy for the Office of Income Maintenance in the Department of Public Welfare. He is responsible for directing the development of the policy and program base for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, State Blind Pension, Medical Assistance Eligibility, Low-Income Energy Assistance Program and Food Stamp Programs. In addition, he directs the clarification of policy for the 67 county assistance offices as well as the Office of Income Maintenance for the state of Pennsylvania. In addition, Ed serves on the National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) Executive Committee representing region 1. He also is on the National LIHEAP Program Integrity Work group.
In April of 2003, Ed received a Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center Leadership Award. The award was presented to individuals and organizations that contributed in a significant way during the 25 years of the organization’s history to the cause of ending hunger in Pennsylvania.
H. Lynda Kugel, J.D., M.H.S.A., is the Self Sufficiency Senior Director of PathWays PA. PathWays PA works in Pennsylvania to achieve economic independence and well-being for low-income women, teens, children and families. Ms. Kugel also manages The Delaware County Healthcare Partnership. The Partnership provides education and training for low-skilled workers to foster career advancement to family-sustaining earnings while also meeting employer workforce needs.
Ms. Kugel is an attorney, who has represented healthcare providers on a wide range of issues. She is a former Executive Editor of the Journal of Law Reform. Ms. Kugel is currently serving her third term as a School Board Director and is Vice President of the Board. In addition to her legal experience, she has served as a hospital administrator at major academic medical centers. Ms. Kugel has previously run parenting organizations, and has developed and taught family education programs.
Rachel joined FRAC in July 2006 as a Senior Policy Analyst. In charge of research and data analysis, her work covers all of the federal nutrition programs and is published in the various annual reports she authors or coauthors such as the School Breakfast Scorecard, Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, and State of the States.
Before coming to FRAC, Rachel worked for the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), in their New York office. At CDF-NY, she focused on helping families gain access to programs that provide work supports – such as tax credits, Medicaid, SCHIP, and food stamps. At CDF-NY Rachel conducted research, gave technical assistance and coauthored several reports.
Rachel received her Masters in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
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Yael Lehmann currently serves as Executive Director of The Food Trust, a nonprofit founded in 1992, which strives to make healthy food available to all. Yael received the 2010 Brava! Women in Business Achievement Award from SmartCEO magazine.
Before becoming Executive Director of The Food Trust in 2006, Yael served as Associate Director and Deputy Director since 2001. In her tenure at The Food Trust, Yael has directed the growth of the organization’s farmers’ markets, nutrition education programs, food retail development initiatives, and other programs to promote access to affordable, nutritious food in low-income communities. Yael has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.
Mr. Hinkle-Brown joined TRF in 1991. He was recently named the Acting President and CEO of the organization. Before becoming CEO, Mr. Hinkle-Brown was the president of Community Investment and Capital Markets and was responsible for TRF’s lending and investing, including oversight of charter school, housing, commercial real estate, business and energy lenders, management of the NMTC program, real estate development and all related capitalization. Before joining TRF, Mr. Hinkle-Brown worked in the local banking industry in real estate finance. He holds an MBA from Temple University in real estate and urban planning as well as a BA in economics.
Elaine Waxman Ph. D. is Vice President for Research and Partnerships at Feeding America, where she also previously served as Director of Social Policy Research and Analysis. Dr. Waxman received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, where her research focused on opportunity in lower-level jobs and the challenges facing lower-income working families. At Feeding America, Dr. Waxman oversaw the completion of Hunger in America 2010, the largest study ever conducted of emergency food assistance in the United States. She has over 20 years of experience in public policy research and consulting.
Bill Clark has been Executive Director of Philabundance since 2001. Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to those in need in partnership with organizations and individuals.
Upon completion of his college education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Mr. Clark started his corporate work with Grey Advertising in New York City, and later as a product manager at Swift and Co., makers of Soup Starters and Brown ‘n Serve breakfast meats. From 1982 to 1995, Mr. Clark owned W.J. Clark and Co., a Chicago-based company that produced and marketed specialty foods including Bean Cuisine soups and pastas, salad dressings, wild rice and mushrooms products, and natural licorice.
At the beginning of his tenure, Mr. Clark oversaw the integration of the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank and Philabundance. Under Mr. Clark, Philabundance has created innovative programs that increase access to emergency food assistance which is strengthening the hunger safety net in the Delaware Valley.