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Illinois SNAP-Ed summits bring awareness to hunger, food insecurity

Hunger and Health summit text

URBANA, Ill. — One in eleven people in Illinois struggle with food insecurity daily, including one in nine children, according to Feeding America. When families are hungry, making a healthy food choice is not always an easy choice.

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

“The Hunger and Health Summit has been an amazing opportunity to network, share best practices, and discuss new opportunities to fight hunger with a diverse mixture of experts in emergency food settings,” says James McCombs, SNAP-Ed educator. “We survey emergency food professionals to identify the most relevant workshop topics, and we take time to acknowledge participants that are making a tremendous impact fighting hunger in their communities.”

Participants may register for one of the in-person workshops held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mar. 13 and 20. Each workshop costs $10 per person and includes a noon meal. Fee waivers are available. Check-in details will be provided during registration.

Locations and dates

Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, on March 13.
Register at by Feb. 28.

Salvation Army, Springfield, on March 20.
Register at by Feb. 28.

Event details and award nominations

Informational booths will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about SNAP-Ed resources, food pantry set-up, Find Food IL food locator map, and more. Participants will also select two breakout sessions to attend during the workshop. Topics include Increasing Community Connection at Your Pantry, Food is Medicine, Food Pantries of the Future, and more.

The summits will conclude with a keynote presentation and award ceremony for Illinois food pantry champions in these categories: Exceptional Food Pantry Manager, Healthy Pantry Innovations, Outstanding Health Equity Leader, and Volunteer of the Year.

Organizations are encouraged to submit award nominations by Feb. 28 for



You may apply for a fee waiver for a summit at

For questions or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact organizer Staci Coussens at

The Illinois Hunger and Health Summits are 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. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.