Hunger Elimination Task Force
2023 Hunger Elimination Task Force Meetings
Quarter 1 – February 28, 2023, from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m (virtual)
Quarter 2 – May 2, 2023, from 2 – 3:30pm
Quarter 3 – August 29, 2023 from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (virtual) — REGISTER
Quarter 4 – November 28, 2023, from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (in-person)
- Leverage and communicate the position of the Hunger Elimination Task Force as a key piece of the Interagency Food and Nutrition Policy Advisory Council (IFNPAC) and the Relish Rhody Food strategy
- Improve nutrition security in Rhode Island by identifying and educating decision makers about policy/investment/regulatory solutions that improve food security supply chain logistics such as delivery, storage, processing, and aggregation
- Develop a centralized and up-to-date statewide source for nutrition security resources for Rhode Island residents, in partnership with frontline task force members such as food pantry operators and community health workers
- Reduce stigma around accessing supplemental nutrition programs by aligning food access issues more closely with messages of overall health and chronic disease management, in partnership with healthcare organizations such as accountable care entities, community health centers, and community health worker networks
COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
HETF members are encouraged to join Communities of Practice (COP) to study and report on questions and interest areas, and make recommendations based on findings. Meetings occur bi-monthly:
Caring for Older Rhode Islanders (in partnership with Age-Friendly RI)
Health Program Administrator, Rhode Island Department of Health
The first Hunger Elimination Task Force (HETF) Meeting of 2023 was attended by over 62 participants. Randi Belhumeur from the RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) welcomed everyone and provided an update on RIDOH’s application to the CDC’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Cooperative Agreement. Our state’s Director of Food Strategy, Juli Stelmaszyk shared that our statewide food strategy, Relish Rhody, will be updated this year and invited everyone to participate in the process. A panel discussion followed, and focused on accessible solutions to solving last mile food delivery for transit challenged Rhode Islanders. Featured speakers included: Cartwheel RI, Family Service of RI’s Be Safe RI program, and Project Dash. All participants went into breakout rooms where they discussed how a lack of awareness about these services and stable funding is a barrier, and that ideal delivery solutions seemed to be those that formed via partnerships between organizations and those that are customized to serve the needs of specific populations (e.g. delivering prepared meals to older Rhode Islanders is different than getting groceries to a single parent who wants to pay with SNAP funds).
The second Hunger Elimination Task Force (HETF) Meeting of 2023 was attended by over 65 participants. Our state’s Director of Food Strategy, Juli Stelmaszyk shared that our statewide food strategy, Relish Rhody, will be updated this year and invited everyone to participate in the process. The Rhode Island Food Policy Council’s Senior Food Access & Nutrition Security Program Associate, Max De Faria, provided a policy landscape overview, providing background on food recovery for donation legislation. A panel discussion followed and focused on operations to divert food from the waste stream and to donate that recovered food to organizations serving food insecure Rhode Islanders. Featured panelists included: Dana Siles from Rescuing Leftover Cuisine RI and Eva Agudelo from Hope’s Harvest at Farm Fresh RI. All participants went into breakout rooms where they discussed the limitations on current food recovery efforts and identified opportune areas for investment and education.