My name is Carrie McCormack, I work for Lakeview Pantry as a Pantry Coordinator, I run the day-to-day operations at our Lakeview Pantry West site. In March, thanks to a scholarship from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, I attended the 2010 Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference was put on by Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Feeding America.
While at the conference I met agencies from all across the country, and also learned in November 2009 The White House, the USDA and the Corporation for National and Community Service launched a major new initiative focused on hunger. The United We Serve: Feed a Neighbor initiative is designed to raise public awareness of hunger issues. The President has committed to end US childhood hunger by 2015, and has set aside $1 billion for child nutrition programs in his 2010 budget proposal.
I also learned that in February 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move: America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids. The campaign will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.
While in DC I heard many speakers and presenters including Vicki Escarra from Feeding America, representatives from several corporations, congressmen and women from all over the U.S. and even an actor, Scott Wolf. I also got to meet on The Hill with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Mike Quigley and staff of Rep. Bobby Rush.
While at this conference I learned more about FRAC’s role and resources, heard exciting Federal and state programs, plus made friends with other Chicago agencies, got to know staff of GCFD better, rode the Metro, and even saw The Monuments.
What a wonderful experience! I recommend an opportunity like this to everyone. It was great to see how my work fits into the bigger picture, and also it was so wonderful to meet so many people and learn so many new things.