Food Security and Food Justice Colloquy

Food Security and Food Justice Colloquy

Apr 10
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications
  

Just a few years ago, the College of ACES lost an outstanding Extension professional, person, and community servant, Dr. Robin Orr. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Robin and it was my pleasure to help a colleague of hers, William Kling, honor her with a special event, the Robin Orr Colloquy. (Note – I also learned a new word. Colloquy – n. discussion: a formal conversation or discussion). Kling determined that he wanted the event to address food security and food justice, topics he worked on closely with Robin.

On March 28, the Heritage Room of the ACES library held a full crowd of students, faculty, staff and members of the University of Illinois community who came together for this event that covered food availability, sustainable production, and food assistance programs. Panelists including University of Illinois professors Dr. Craig Gundersen and Dr. Barbara Fiese, University of Illinois Extension’s Linda Crawl-Jackson, Eastern Illinois Food Bank Director Jim Hires, and local sustainable farmer David Bane all contributed varied viewpoints to the discussion.

The lively discussion presented one fact noting that 1 in 5 people in eastern Illinois is dealing with hunger. The number increases to 1 in 4 when pinpointed to youth. This was just one piece of information highlighting the proximity and intensity of the subject. Much of the conversation could have spun off into independent discussions of just one point that was presented. This is one of the reasons that Kling hopes to sponsor another similar event of this type next year.

Orr, who passed away in 2010, touched more than one million of Illinois' most vulnerable citizens with food assistance and education programs through her role in Extension. She served on numerous state and national committees to guide the development and administration of food program legislation. Additionally, she collaborated with fellow researchers and nutrition advocates on subjects including obesity, cancer, hunger and food policy reform.

Food Security and Food Justice Colloquy