As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, the issues related to equitable access to food became glaring. Almost overnight, populations (including the shut-in, the elderly, the working poor, and the homeless) all lost access to food. As more people lost their jobs, a new population also began to wonder where their next meal was coming from – people who used to be able to walk into the grocery store and grab food. The number of people who didn’t have food became far too big to marginalize, and far too relatable to ignore. Overnight, our friends, our families, our neighbors, and ourselves were now the ones trying to eat. We all saw the lines at the food bank get longer and longer.
The Conference on Food Resilience, Access, and Equity was a conference that brought together experts, decision makers, and trendsetters to discuss making the invisible…visible. In addition to discussing the providing access to end users, the conference addressed equity and access along each aspect of the food supply chain – the farmers, the grocery stores, the food banks, the front line workers – who get the food into our mouths.
After welcoming remarks from Austin Mayor Steve Adler, the conference kicked-off with a conversation between Danielle Nierenberg which touched on important issues related to food access and equity:
- Food and nutrition security
- Land equity
- Technology and the food supply chain
- Food policy
And that was just the first hour! Over the course of two-days the Cook’s Nook presented more than 20 conversations to address all aspects of the food security and the food supply chain.
“COVID is this terrible tragedy, but we can also use it as a force of good.” Danielle Nierenberg
Attendees of the conference discussed the challenges as well as solutions. Facing similar challenges, attendees from around the world shared best practices and built the connections to address food security during the pandemic and beyond.
Click here to see selected conversations from the conference.