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Come to the Table Summits

How It Began

As a non-profit, Mission-based health system committed to community health needs, ProMedica believes there are many social determinants of health that correlate to population health. Food insecurity, instability and deprivation are among them, contributing to health disparities. Hunger among children, seniors, pregnant women, and other adults has an effect on all aspects of wellness; malnourishment exacerbates chronic disease and mental illness.

To address hunger as a health issue, ProMedica is partnering with the Alliance to End Hunger, as well as a myriad of local, state and national organizations. On Feb. 27, 2014, ProMedica and the Alliance held Come to the Table, a half-day summit in Washington, D.C., to encourage other healthcare organizations to also address hunger as a health issue and federal legislators to protect food-related programs and policies. We are following up that effort with regional Come to the Table summits throughout the nation.

We believe it is critical to build awareness of this issue so that hunger as a health issue becomes a national priority among healthcare providers and those who oversee funding for the means to help end hunger. Those means to prevent Americans from starving include food banks, food pantries, vouchers, subsidized meals, school and summer meal programs, soup kitchens, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps. But these programs alone are not enough to end hunger. We must work collectively to identify and address the core issues that lead to hunger, including education, awareness and identifying and eradicating food deserts across our communities.

Resources from Our Latest Summit

Presented again by ProMedica and the Alliance to End Hunger, the half-day regional summit on hunger and health was held at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 14 2014. The event featured perspectives from an array of experts, including a keynote address by Audrey Rowe, Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More than 100 individuals from Georgia, the southeast region and beyond joined in this discussion about the significant link between hunger and health. (View videos of what inspired our attendees to come to the table.)

The following resources are available if you were unable to attend or you would like them for your reference.

Learn more about the Atlanta Summit:

Watch our Come to the Table to End Hunger video.

Visit the Alliance to End Hunger's website.

Read our Come to the Table Newsletter.

In The News

Our Come to the Table initiative is making headlines. Learn more from the links below.

ProMedica Aims to End Obesity Through Focus on HungerBecker's Hospital Review

Hunger Topic of Chicago SessionThe Blade, Toledo, Ohio

A Broader Dialogue: Addressing Hunger for a Healthier TomorrowHuffington Post

Getting to the Root of the ProblemModern Healthcare

Extending the Food ChainHospitals & Health Networks magazine

Flower Market decides to freshen up the aisle
Monroe St. spot offers healthy foods
The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Hunger as a health issue
Food insecurity adds to health systems' costs; October summit seeks solutions
Modern Healthcare

ProMedica combating hungerThe Blade, Toledo, Ohio

In Toledo, hunger is a health issueThe Blade, Toledo, Ohio

'Come to the Table' program provides food for the needyWTOL-TV, Channel 11, Toledo, Ohio

Program brings fresh produce to residentsThe Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich.

'Come to the Table:' ProMedica works to combat hunger in NW OhioThe Review Times, Fostoria, Ohio

ProMedica finds hunger is root of U.S. obesity epidemic – The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Children given food, fun at 100 area sitesThe Blade, Toledo, Ohio

After-school program to get more food aidThe Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Additional Resources

Follow this list of links for more information about the Come to the Table initiative:

Download ProMedica's Come to the Table Toolkit

Learn more about ProMedica's efforts.

Read our Come to the Table white paper.

Our Partners

Learn more about other organizations that are dedicated to ending hunger and food insecurity issues in our community and nationwide.

The Alliance to End Hunger is a coalition comprised of 85 member organizations working together in the fight against hunger. These corporations, non-profit groups, universities, healthcare providers, associations, individuals, foundations, and faith-based groups are dedicated to building the public and political will to end hunger worldwide. Read more about the Alliance to End Hunger.

Children's HealthWatch works to improve child health by bringing evidence and analysis from the front lines of pediatric care to policy makers and the public. Their research is grounded in the experience of pediatrician researchers who see first-hand in clinics how economic conditions and public policies are reflected in the health and well-being of their youngest patients. Learn more about Children's HealthWatch.

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama. Its goal is to solve the problem of obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and be able to pursue their dreams. It believes reducing childhood obesity is the responsibility of parents and caregivers, elected officials from all levels of government, schools, healthcare professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private-sector companies. Learn more about Let's Move!

The Meals On Wheels Association of America is the oldest and largest national organization representing local, community-based senior nutrition programs in all 50 states. Such programs provide more than 1 million meals to seniors who count on them each day. In addition to serving the senior community, Meals on Wheels employs thousands of employees and relies on more than 800,000 volunteers to remain the largest volunteer army in the United States. Learn more about Meals on Wheels.

No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength’s top priority is exactly how it sounds: To end childhood hunger in America. The program connects children in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The entire No Kid Hungry network consists of private citizens, government officials, business leaders, and others providing innovative solutions in their communities. Learn more about No Kid Hungry.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business, and labor groups, as well as health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising healthcare costs: chronic disease. Read more about the risk factors of chronic disease and how to prevent one or more from affecting you and your loved ones. Visit the PFCD website.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. Supporting PHA are some of the country’s most respected health and childhood obesity advocates, including first lady Michelle Obama, William H. Frist, MD, and Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, N.J. Learn more about PHA.

Ohio Association of Foodbanks assists the state’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks by providing food and additional resources to people in need. Food and job security are top priorities for this organization, which it ensures through initiatives such as the Ohio Food Program and Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program. Read more about Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Stop Hunger, a Sodexo Foundation initiative, works to ensure that every child in the United States — especially those more at risk — grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. Find out more about Sodexo Foundation.