NORWICH, N.Y., Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Chobani announced the food maker will host a groundbreaking Child Hunger Summit on Tuesday, February 23, bringing together leaders from the non-profit, private and public sectors who are pushing for stronger public policies and creating meaningful private partnerships to help millions of children and families in need.
The pandemic has pushed America's child hunger crisis to near-epidemic levels. Food insecurity for families with children has more than tripled since it began.1 As a result of the pandemic, a projected 17 million kids – nearly one in four children in the U.S. – may not know where they will get their next meal.2 Black and Latino households with children have suffered disproportionately from food insecurity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.3
Chobani has long championed its belief that access to nutritious food should be a right, not a privilege. That's why it's organizing a conference on child hunger to generate additional momentum for action and progress. It follows Chobani's work to advocate for stronger safety nets for food insecure Americans, especially children — work that began prior to the pandemic and has taken on new urgency as COVID-19 and the economic downturn highlight immense need.
"Ending child hunger isn't a choice, it's a responsibility," said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani. "Our goal is to unite businesses, policymakers, and child hunger advocates to take urgent action to address this heartbreaking epidemic. It is essential we do everything we can to ensure all children and their families have access to the food they need. We won't rest until we end child hunger in America."
"The alarming spike in childhood hunger caused by COVID-19 is a serious national problem that requires a serious national response," said Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). "Federal food assistance programs, such as SNAP, school meals, and summer meals, ensure that children in cash-strapped households get the nutrition they need where they live, learn, and play. Greater investments in and awareness of these proven programs are critical to supporting children's health and development and flattening the curve on childhood hunger. FRAC applauds the entire Chobani team for their leadership on this issue."
"The Feeding America network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs is responding every day to meet the needs of children and families who face hunger," said Katie Fitzgerald, COO and Executive Vice President at Feeding America®. "We are proud to join Chobani and other anti-hunger advocates to discuss opportunities to further collaborate to better support our neighbors in need."
Speaker Highlights (Full speaker list available here)
- Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO, Chobani
- Peter McGuinness, President and COO, Chobani
- Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
- Katie Fitzgerald, COO & Executive Vice President, Feeding America
- Gina Crista Cummings, Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances and Policy, Oxfam America
- Dr. Marjorie Innocent, Director of Learning and Impact, NAACP
- Steven T. Lopez, Senior Director, Healthy Policy, UnidosUS
- Cyanne Lujan, Director of Advancement, Notah Bejay III (NB3) Foundation
- Reginald Ross, President, School Nutrition Association (SNA)
- Tamara Sandberg, U.S. Food Security & Nutrition Advisor, Save the Children
- Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID)
- Karen Vauk, President and CEO, The Idaho Foodbank
- A keynote conversation featuring national leaders from the private and nonprofit sector discussing key areas for greater collaboration as well as critical policy changes that federal, state and local governments must make
- Leading experts sharing the massive challenges schools, food banks, and nonprofits across the country are facing to reliably provide nutritious food to children and families in need
- Centuries of structural racism has fueled enormous inequalities for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other communities of color. Experts will discuss how systemic racism in America both creates and exacerbates food insecurity and what must be done to address it
- A discussion about the unique challenges that rural communities, farm families, and others are facing in Idaho, the importance of protecting our nation's food supply, and passing bipartisan immigration reform
Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, Chobani has invested in its people, communities and innovation. The company donated more than 7 million products to food banks coast to coast, turned its café into a food pantry, kept its workforce safe and supported and its plants operating 24/7 while providing special benefits to its essential workers like additional quarterly bonuses and daily childcare stipends. The company also recently announced a commitment to a starting wage of at least $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage. This investment brings its average wage to $19 an hour for its essential workers.
To register for free & learn more about the Child Hunger Summit, please visit https://www.chobanichildhungersummit.com/
Our founding mission is "better food for more people" but over a decade later, as we've grown from a yogurt company to a food-focused wellness company, Chobani has expanded its guiding vision to achieve nutritional, social, and environmental wellness. Leading the change is Chobani's ambition "to make universal wellness happen sooner." In short, Chobani uses food as a force for good, focusing philanthropic efforts on humanity and giving a portion of the company's annual profits to support the needs of our communities. As the maker of America's No. 1-selling Greek Yogurt brand, Chobani has since expanded its portfolio to include oatmilks, ready-to-drink coffees, probiotic drinks, and dairy- and plant-based creamers. All Chobani products are kosher certified, and are made without any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. With manufacturing in New York, Idaho and Australia, Chobani products are available throughout North America and distributed in Asia and Latin America. For more information, please visit www.chobani.com and www.facebook.com/chobani
1 Schanzenbach, D. W., & A. Pitts. (2020). How much has food insecurity risen? Evidence from the Census Household Pulse Survey. Institute for Policy Research Rapid Research Report. https://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/documents/reports/ipr-rapid-researchreports-pulse-hh-data-10-june-2020.pdf
2 Feeding America, https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/child-hunger-facts
3 The Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, Weeks 6-12 (June 4-July 21, 2020)
SOURCE Chobani, LLC