Solutions Blog

2014 Food Access Summit: Making food affordable for all

News Release

Oct. 24, 2014

Karen Smigielski

At the conference:
Jill Martinez
Hunger Solutions Communications

PDF version of news release

2014 Food Access Summit: Making food affordable for all

About 500 people are expected to attend the third FAS2014 Scheduleat the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center to explore, expand and engage on food access for Minnesotans with low incomes. They will participate in training, workshops, networking and presentations.

“Hunger in Minnesota is real. The aim of the summit is to increase education and promote access to healthy food,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “We are making progress in that direction.”

This year’s summit will mark the public launch of the Minnesota Food Charter, a road map for improving food access in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Human Services supports the primary goal of the Minnesota Food Charter, which is to provide all Minnesotans, especially those with low incomes, with access to healthy, affordable and safe food.

In addition, over the course of almost three days, participants will listen to keynote speeches and be part of workshops. Mary M. Lee, deputy director of PolicyLink, will give a keynote speech about the role of community-based strategies and public policy initiatives for making food more accessible to people with low incomes.

Heather Wooten, Vice President of Programs at ChangeLab Solutions, will lead the workshop “Getting Started with Healthy Food Access Policies.” The workshop will help communities build strategies to promote access to healthy food by reviewing research, identifying successful policy approaches and exploring case studies.

Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger will also speak.

In a survey of last year’s attendees, 76 percent of respondents said they started or improved their work for better food access based on what they learned at the Food Access Summit. One of last year’s attendees and survey respondents noted, “I personally improved my understanding of the hunger problem and access to healthy foods. It was only during and after the summit that I began to realize the link between all these food programs, and the overall hunger/access issue in Minnesota and the nation.”

The Food Access Summit’s planning committee includes the American Association of Retired Persons; Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Emergency Foodshelf Network; Hunger Solutions Minnesota; Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; Minnesota Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health, and Human Services; Minnesota FoodShare; Second Harvest Heartland; United States Department of Agriculture; and University of Minnesota’s Extension and Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute.




Jill Martinez
Communications Manager

555 Park Street,Suite 400
St. Paul, MN 55103



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