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Sponsored by:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma


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Tag us: @HungerFreeOK

Hashtag: #HungryforActionOK


Session Dates:

July 12 – The Causes and Consequences of Hunger

August 9 – Rural vs. Urban: Food Access in Oklahoma

September 13 – Feeding the Future: 3 Meals a Day, 365 Days a Year

October 11 – From Advocacy to Action: A Hunger Policy Primer

November 15 – Soil to Stomach: Building an Equitable Food System

January 10 – Take Action to End Hunger

All events will be held 10:00-11:30 a.m. CST unless otherwise noted.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

We invite you to consider a sponsorship of the Hungry for Action series. Don’t wait! Join us in taking action to end hunger in Oklahoma today!

July 12 Opening Session - The Causes and Consequences of Hunger

We kicked off the series with a lively opening session with Keynote Speaker Dr. Craig Gundersen:
A Clear Path to Eliminating Food Insecurity in the United States

Food insecurity has become the leading indicator of economic well-being among vulnerable Americans for two central reasons. First, the extent of the problem is enormous – almost 40 million Americans are food insecure. Second, there are multiple negative health outcomes associated with food insecurity which lead to corresponding higher health care costs and higher rates of mortality. In this presentation, Gundersen reviews how food insecurity is measured; provides a broad overview of food insecurity in the U.S. and in particular, Oklahoma; and considers some groups that are often overlooked when examining food insecurity. He then turns to how we can use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to essentially eliminate food insecurity.

Learning objectives:
Understand how to measure food insecurity
Understand the determinants of food insecurity
Understand the role SNAP plays in alleviating food insecurity

Craig Gundersen is the Snee Family Endowed Chair at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) and a Professor in the Department of Economics at Baylor University.  He is also on the Technical Advisory Group for Feeding America, the lead researcher on Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap project, the Managing Editor for Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, a Round Table Fellow of the Farm Foundation, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame.  His research concentrates on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on the evaluation of food assistance programs, with an emphasis on SNAP.  Gundersen is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economic Association (AAEA).

SNAP into Action (pdf)

August 9 - Rural vs. Urban: Food Access in Oklahoma

Access to nutritious food is a significant barrier to food security and health. Our panelists will draw on years of research and personal experience to help us learn how food access is impacted by where you live and what can be done to change the disparities faced by communities across our state. 

Bryce Lowery, Improving Access to Food in Rural and Urban Communities in Oklahoma through the Built Environment
Dr. Lowery will discuss the ways the built environment can both hinder and facilitate access to food for communities. He will reflect on his work exploring food security in Oklahoma over the past eight years in both urban and rural settings. He will share his knowledge of ways to address possible disparities frequently observed in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and rural areas through public policy and physical interventions that facilitate access to food.

Learning Objectives:

  • Awareness of components of the built environment aid and hinder in promoting food access
  • Knowledge on differences between the built environments in rural and urban communities in relation to food access
  • An understanding of policy level interventions that can help facilitate improve food access in Oklahoma


Katie Plohocky, Positioning Food Security as an Opportunity for Economic Growth
There is a direct correlation between life expectancy and health disparities with a lack of a grocery store. What if food security can be positioned as an opportunity for community revitalization? We are building a framework to address the root causes of food access and rebuild the ecosystem of the food supply chain through a combination of locally owned mobile and micro store fronts, regional food hubs, urban agriculture, and entrepreneurial opportunities. RG Foods is breaking down barriers to bring back locally owned grocery stores to neighborhoods assisting residents in becoming active partners in their health and prosperity.

Learning Objectives:

  • How food density plays a critical role for health
  • Root causes of food deserts
  • The new Grocery Box social franchise

Scooter Vaughan, Rural Hunger and Access to Healthy Food
Rural hunger presents unique obstacles that food insecure individuals need to navigate when seeking food assistance. This can include the lack of access to healthy food in particular, or in some cases, access to any food sources in general. This presentation sets out to highlight some of the issues that are common throughout rural communities. This will include a discussion of the issues that not only impact food insecure individuals, but issues that can impact food outreach organizations as well. Lastly, this discussion will touch on some of the more common misconceptions about rural hunger and rural communities.

September 13 - Feeding the Future: 3 Meals a Day, 365 Days a Year

Enough nutritious food is critical to children’s physical, mental, and behavioral development, but one in five Oklahoma children experience food insecurity. Join this panel discussion to understand how hunger negatively impacts Oklahoma’s children, the action being taken to address it, and how your community can take part.

Shea Boschee, Building Partnerships to Build Healthier Community
Every day, YMCAs respond to the specific needs of the communities they serve. The sudden school closures and economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 dramatically increased the need for child care and food access across the nation. Hear about how our small, rural YMCA in north central Oklahoma changed the way we serve our community when our doors closed.

Learning Objectives:

  • The importance of having the courage to jump in before you are ready
  • The importance of partnerships
  • How to play nice with others


Share Our Strength, No Kid Hungry
The Share Our Strength, No Kid Hungry team will be sharing promising practices and examples from communities across the country to holistically bring together nutrition programs to support food access for children and families.

Chloe Eberhardt
Paige Pokorney
Jeannine Rios


October 11 - From Advocacy to Action: A Hunger Policy Primer

From city councils to Congress, decisions made by elected officials have an impact on hunger – both positive and negative. Our expert presenters will shed light on policies that have worsened food insecurity, sets of policies specifically intended to address hunger, and what is (or could be) happening in policy to address the issue in Oklahoma and across the United States.

Our Panelists:

Ty Jones Cox, Vice President for Food Assistance, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities





Abi Fain, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Intertribal Agriculture Council





Chris Bernard, Executive Director, Hunger Free Oklahoma





Though this session is primarily focused on state and federal level policies, Oklahoma City Councilor and food security advocate, Nikki Nice, will help kick off the beginning of the session. 

November 15 - Soil to Stomach: Building an Equitable Food System

Imagine a community where all people have the ability and opportunity to grow and/or consume healthy, affordable, and culturallysignificant foods. Join us to learn from anti-hunger leaders and communities doing the work to build equitable food systems and learn how you can start this work in your own community. 

This session’s host will be Ahniwake Rose, Director of Public Health Policy & Programs with the National Indian Health Board.




Joining Ahniwake in the conversation will be:

DeBorah Boneta: Islamic Prison Outreach Director in partnership with CAIR-OK




Carly Griffith-Hotvedt: Associate Director, Indigenous Food and Ag Initiative, UArk Law




Lauren Hall: Research Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities




Erin Martin: President, Tulsa Urban Ag Coalition and Director, FreshRx Oklahoma


January 10 Closing Session - Take Action to End Hunger

Hunger is a big problem. As a single person or organization, it can feel overwhelming to think about solving it alone. Luckily, you don’t have to. The solution to hunger is collaborative! In this session, turn your knowledge, skills, and experiences into action to end hunger in your community and in our state. 

Are you hungry for action? Join decision makers, practitioners, funders, and others to learn best practices, build partnerships, and mobilize to end hunger in Oklahoma.

Check out our last Hungry for Change Conference and see what you could learn this year!

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