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Convergence of Childhood Obesity and Hunger: Taking Action

Presented by the School of Natural Sciences and Allied Health of Cabrini  University and the College of Health Sciences of West Chester University

Apple on plate graphic

Supported in part by the Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation

This one-day interactive symposium, held at West Chester University, will focus on issues and opportunities related to food access for children and families in schools and in their communities.  Join us in our attempt to  uncover how various sectors—businesses, health care, and government—intersect on these important issues.

Convergence of Childhood Obesity and Hunger:
Taking Action
February 22, 2019 - 8:00am - 4:00pm

  • CEU confirmed (for additional details click here)
    • Social Work
    • Community Health Educator Specialist (CHES)
  • CEC/CEU pending
    • Registered Dietician (RD)
  • Registration fee: $40 ($20 for students).
  • Link to Registration (Deadline extended unitl Monday, February 18th - no onsite registration available.)
  • Agenda
    • Breakout Session Topics (for additional details click here)
      1. An action-based, interprofessional approach to combating food insecurity and childhood obesity in our communities
      2. Childhood obesity and hunger: Taking action through research and scholarly opportunities
      3. First 1000 days of life
      4. Childhood Obesity and Hunger: A School Nutrition Program Perspective
      5. Working at the Intersection of Food, Health, and Obesity Prevention: Population Health in Action at Main Line Health

This symposium—ideal for professionals and students in  nursing, public health, health administration, social work, physical and occupational therapy, nutrition, and physician assistant programs—includes a keynote speaker panel, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and a  healthy breakfast and lunch.
This is the third symposium following the two offered in 2015 and 2017 held at Cabrini University.



     MAIKEN SCOTT - WHYY Host and Creative Director of The Pulse



SANDRA HASSINK, MD, FAAP - Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight

"Nutrition: Social Justice and Population Health"

This talk will discuss the importance of optimal nutrition for growth, development and longitudinal health. The impact of food insecurity, hunger and obesity on chronic non-communicable disease will be addressed in the context of health disparities and social justice as applied to individual and population health.

ATIF BOSTIC - Executive Director, Uplift Solutions

"The American Crisis of Access to Fresh and Healthy Food"

The presentation will include a discussion on how inadequate access and affordability lead to alarming rates of food insecurity, hunger, can childhood obesity.  This discussion will explore how America arrived at this crisis; and evaluate examples of existing strategies and philanthropy’s role in developing them.  Finally, attendees will be provided a framework for the development of entrepreneurial solutions to address them.

CHRISTINE MELENDEZ ASHLEY - Deputy Director, Bread for the World

"Investing in our Children’s Future: Why Policy and Advocacy Matter"

The long term consequences of hunger and poor nutrition are huge. Now is a critical time to be engaging in policy advocacy. Attendees will learn about the policy discussions happening in Washington and how their advocacy can make a difference.



Please contact Maria Elena Hallion, PhD, at 610.902.8388; or, mehallion@cabrini.edu.


Previous Symposium Information:

Organizers and speakers for the Child Health Forum 2017

Pictured left-to-right: Dr. Sandra Hassink, American Academy of Pediatrics; Garrett Broad, PhD, Fordham University; Maria Elena Hallion, PhD, Cabrini University; Eric Smith, Bread for the World; Kim Fremont Fortunato, Campbell’s; Sheena Rolle, Bread for the World

Speakers included (powerpoints available at the links below):

  • Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP
    Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Director of the AAP Institute on Healthy Childhood Weight, and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the Center for Child Health and Policy at Case Western Reserve

    Building the Foundations of Child Health: Addressing the Triple Threat of Obesity, Food Insecurity and Hunger - PDF

    This talk will help the participants  understand factors contributing to childhood obesity and food insecurity and their effect on child health.

    The role of health professionals, health systems, and community in advocacy will be address and priorities helpful in developing shared values and leading toward collective impact and action  will be covered. The objective of this presentation is to mobilize the community to a convergence of thinking and action to improve child nutrition,

  • Eric Mitchell
    Government Relations Director, Bread for the World

    Putting Us On Track to End Hunger by 2030 - PDF

    In 2015, all the nations of the world, including the United States, agreed on a set of 17 comprehensive and interdependent goals, beginning with the end of poverty and hunger by 2030. 

    The adoption of these historic Sustainable Development Goals, means that the U.S. is now committed to not only ending hunger and poverty in developing countries, but within its own boarders as well.  However, with a new President and new congress, it will take a collective advocacy effort to get our leaders from “saying yes” to actually “doing yes.”  

    This presentation will talk about what it will take for us to actually get on track to end hunger by 2030, and how we can engage both on federal level, and within our communities inorder to make this a priority.  

  • Kim Fremont Fortunato
    Director of Community Affairs, Campbell Soup Company; President, Campbell Soup Foundation

    Positive Social Change for Healthy Communities - PDF

    Campbell’s Healthy Communities, the company’s signature philanthropic program, is aligned with the company purpose: Real food that matters for life’s moments. Recognizing that a single organization cannot change a major social issue, Campbell’s Healthy Communities program is designed on a collective impact approach.

    This presentation will explore collective impact as the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, in the context of Campbell Soup Company’s commitment to the city where it’s located, Camden, NJ. 

    With a special commitment to childhood obesity, Campbell is dedicated to supporting the complex structural issues within Camden.

  • Garrett Broad, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Fordham University and author of More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change

    More than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change - PDF

    The United States food system is characterized by a paradox that provides abundant food for the privileged and “food deserts” for the historically marginalized.

    In response, food justice activists have developed community-based solutions, arguing that activities like urban agriculture, nutrition education, and food-based social enterprises can lead to social transformation.

    This talk explores the possibilities and limitations of the food justice approach. It asks, "In the age of Trump and beyond, can the food justice movement deliver sustainable community change?"

Program Objectives: 

  • To share the current, documented national childhood hunger and obesity trends and clarify the linkages between the two problems
  • To foster inter-professional collaboration between those committed to combating childhood hunger and obesity
  • To assist attendees with identifying opportunities for community action including clarifying goals, strategy development and resource identification
  • To assist students, from various fields of study, to identify potential research, service and career opportunities that integrate both childhood obesity and hunger

Agenda for Child Health Forum - PDF

A unique part of the Convergence event is the way we connect our meals to our programs.

2015 Convergence of Childhood Obesity and Hunger: A Forum for Response, which was supported in part by The President Antoinette Iadarola Endowed Fund and The Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation.

Participants learned about national trends, foster inter-professional collaboration, and identify potential curricular strategies, programming, and opportunities for research, service, and careers that integrate both childhood obesity and hunger.

Topics included food policy, childhood obesity, food security, and food waste.

National and regional speakers, included:

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