by Chris Bernard, Executive Director
Over the last three years we have met so many amazing organizations and individuals across our state that are working every day to end hunger. All too often these people would mention their desire to meet others in the field, or learn more about a subject, but did not know how to make those connections. This common theme inspired us to begin planning an event that would foster those connections and learning opportunities.
On October 22, 2019, Hunger Free Oklahoma hosted the first ever statewide anti-hunger conference, Hungry for Change. Thanks to the hard work of our staff, the amazing presenters that were willing to give their time and expertise, and the passion and dedication of all of our attendees, the conference was a huge success.
At the conference, 152 individuals from 61 organizations came together to learn from and teach to one another. Experts from across the state hosted 18 workshops on topics ranging from advocacy and public policy to healthy pantries. Representatives from the USDA hosted a Q & A on the Federal Nutrition Programs to help practitioners navigate roadblocks. Funders and thought leaders spoke about public private partnerships. Faith-based leaders spoke of their community based responses to hunger, and so much more.
The Hunger Free Oklahoma team came away from the day energized about the things learned, opportunities for new partnerships, and the connections people made. Most importantly, we heard from so many in attendance that they walked away with new ideas to implement, new connections to pursue, and a new understanding of how their work fits into a broader effort.
The challenge to end hunger can be overwhelming, but the conference showed us that we are not alone and that together we can create a hunger free Oklahoma. We are already planning the 2020 conference and I hope to see more of you there to share your expertise and learn from others.
A Special Thanks to the Following Sponsors