This event has been postponed.

Please register HERE


Illinois Food Pantry Conference: The Hunger and Health Connection

Join us for the first ever Illinois Food Pantry Conference:  The Hunger and Health Connection! 

Conference Goal:  To enhance the skillset of emergency food outreach staff, volunteers and community members to serve limited resource participants.

Check-in will be held on Friday, May 1 2020 from 9:00-10:00 in the morning.  A conference agenda will be available when you arrive.  The cost of registration is $10.  Fee waivers are available.

When:  May 1, 2020   10:00 am – 3:30 pm

        *Lunch Included

Where: Crowne Plaza

3000 S. Dirksen Parkway

Springfield, IL 62703


Sessions Overview:

Food Handlers Training (optional) – FREE Early Bird Session - Learn to prepare and handle food more safely with “Food Handlers Training,” which covers topics of food storage, food temperatures, handwashing, and cleaning. This training will be held from 8-10am prior to the start of the conference.  For those attending, there will be an early registration from 7:30-8:00. Through this course you will earn a Food Handlers Certificate.

Food Drives – Pantries can promote health and help manage diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, by offering fresh produce, preferred foods and other unique initiatives to procure food. Participants attending this session will learn new strategies to nourish our neighbors through unique food drives including fresh food drives, preferred food drives and other strategies. This session will provide strategies and insights as to how to connect with partners wanting to host a drive and help market a food drive.

Meeting People Where They Are:  A Model for Collaboration and Community Health Screening–  By partnering with food pantries and mobile food markets to host community health screenings, health care providers in southern Illinois have been able to reach high-risk individuals with free blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol screenings where they are in their communities.  Reducing barriers such as transportation and appointment times, this collaborative approach has helped identify, educate, and refer community members to healthcare services.  As a result of these screening events, two attendees were sent to the Emergency Room for immediate health care needs and one participant indicated that this was going to send him to the doctor for the first time in ten years.

Nudges and Shopping Style – Learn how to reduce food waste and help clients meet their dietary needs by switching to shopping style and implementing healthy nudges. In this session, pantries will discuss successes and suggestions for switching to a shopping style pantry and implementing healthy “nudges”. Rural or metro pantries can do it!

Youth Involvement in Pantries – Food insecurity is an issue that disproportionately affects young people, and yet, engaging young people in food insecurity advocacy can be a difficult process. Illinois 4-H will be presenting a youth-led panel featuring young people who have been engaged around issues of food insecurity through service-learning and civic engagement. You will hear brief presentations highlighting the successes and challenges of their work.  We will also host an answer session, giving young people an opportunity to give their voice to some of your particular challenges. 


Make Foods Last & Food Safety Policy -  Food label dates and quality of food donated and offered to pantry guests are a common topic among those who have experience working with food  Discover simple tips and resources available to volunteers and guests on safely storing food items including fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and frozen meats.

Network with Community Partners – Participants will get an inside look into how to communicate and create partnerships with community partners. Community groups will be available to discuss and answer questions regarding effective partnering strategies.


Awards will be handed out in the following categories:  Exceptional Food Pantry Manager, Innovative Food Pantry Programming, Health Pantry Initiatives, and Volunteer of the Year.  Please follow this link for further descriptions and to nominate an individual and/or pantry for an award.

If you will be applying for a fee waiver, please select the cash/check payment option.  Please select this link to fill out the application for a fee waiver:

**Your registration will be considered pending until we receive your payment.


Event Date(s)
Event Time
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Event Fee
3000 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62703