socioecological contributors to obesity, which might shift blame more appropriately. A benefit of focusing on food insecurity and obesity is what this workshop provides: a way to bring creative, interdisciplinary researchers together to devise solutions that would not necessarily be considered from a single disciplinary perspective, he said.

Food Quality in the Emergency Food System

Several participants commented on the efforts of food banks around the country to improve the nutritional quality of the foods they distribute. As the result of a recent initiative in California, for example, 60 percent of the food going into the food bank system now consists of fruits and vegetables. Changes in advocacy and communication also have been made, and other states are adopting these changes, just as other state food banks have adopted changes pioneered in New York State.

In response to a question about how he has managed to have so many nutritionists on the staff of the Food Bank of Central New York, Slater responded that he has been able to hire four nutritionists by convincing government of the importance of their positions. “We need to hold [government] accountable to help fund this, and we need to show them that it is critical that we do it from a nutritional standpoint.”

Redefining “Success” of Food Distribution

Michelle Berger from the Feeding America network remarked that her organization is working with member organizations on both food insecurity and nutritional insecurity. It also is considering such issues as how to define success beyond the distribution of particular quantities of food. “What does success look like in the emergency feeding system beyond just pounds?”


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