Skip to main content

Addressing food insecurity and its impact on health

Person holding a knife and fork up to an empty plate.

URBANA, Ill. – Hunger is a condition in which people do not get enough food to provide the necessary nutrients to lead active and productive lives. Food insecurity, on the other hand, refers to economic and social conditions that limit access to safe and nutritious food in sufficient quantities. 

According to Feeding America, one in twelve people in Illinois struggles with food insecurity daily. When families are hungry, making a healthy food choice is not always easy. 

To increase healthier outcomes for communities, SNAP Education at University of Illinois Extension and the Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion will host three separate regional Illinois Hunger and Health Conferences to catalyze collaboration among local, public, and regional organizations working together to address food insecurity and its impact on health. 

“We look forward to building on the successes of last year’s conferences and continue to connect with our partners from across the state,” says Illinois Extension educator and conference co-organizer Louise Hyneman. “The conference will provide an opportunity to share ideas and resources impacting community health through food pantries while building a network of support.”
Participants may register for one of the in-person workshops held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the locations listed. The cost to register is $10 per person and includes a noon meal. Fee waivers are available. An optional pre-conference session with training for food handlers is also available from 8:00-9:30 a.m. at no additional cost.

March 8 | Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby Register at Registration closes on Feb. 28.

May 1 | Kennedy King College, Chicago Registration information will be published later.

May 5 | Salvation Army, Springfield Register at Registration closes on April 27.

Informational booths will allow attendees to learn about SNAP-Ed resources, food pantry setup, and the Find Food IL locator map. Participants will also select two breakout sessions to attend during the workshop. Topics will include:

  • Finding food funds.
  • Increasing healthy donations.
  • Trauma informed care at food pantries.
  • Supporting wellness at pantries.

The conference will conclude with a keynote speaker and award presentations for Illinois food pantry champions in these categories:

  • Exceptional food pantry manager.
  • Healthy pantry innovations.
  • Outstanding health equity leader.
  • Volunteer of the year.

Organizations are encouraged to submit award nominations before Feb. 25 by visiting

For questions or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact organizer Louise Hyneman at:

The Illinois Hunger and Health Conference is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension with funds from USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

EDITOR: Herbert Chavez, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension.