Jennifer Garner, assistant professor, College of Medicine and John Glenn College of Public Affairs, said that while food security often looks at individuals and households consistently getting sufficient access to food, community food security is a broader vision. It encompasses nutritional adequacy as well as food safety and whether it’s culturally appropriate and maximizes community self-reliance. In her research studying rural Appalachian Ohio during the pandemic, she consistently heard frustration from residents.
“We talk about the Farm Bill and how 75% of it is food assistance programming. What we hear is, yes there is need for those programs, but these communities, our neighbors, don’t want to need these programs,” Garner said explaining that the residents want to get to a place of communal self-reliance.
National speakers at the event included Danielle Nierenberg, president, Food Tank, a nonprofit, national think tank for food; Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and co-chair, White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health task force; and Baldemar Velasquez, president, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO.
“Whether we are talking about climate, biodiversity, food loss and waste, poverty, education, gender, or economic policy,” Nierenberg said, “the food system is really the through line of all of these issues, and it should be time for those in power to realize it.”
Read the latest edition of Public Address, the Glenn College magazine.