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Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2022) – FoodCorps, a national nonprofit that partners with schools and communities to nourish children’s health, education, and sense of belonging, today announced that Phoebe Wong, recent FoodCorps alumna and first-year student at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., will participate in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health as a speaker on a panel called Partnerships Between Farmers and Communities to Increase Access to Local Foods on Wednesday, September 28th.
FoodCorps is also pleased to share that its President, Dr. Robert S. Harvey, will attend the conference, and FoodCorps partner Donna Martin, Nutrition Director for Burke County Schools in Georgia, will be a part of a panel entitled Food Access for Children and Families. In the lead-up to the Conference, FoodCorps partner Warren DeShields, Director of Food Services at Bridgeton Public Schools in New Jersey, spoke on a panel to discuss nutrition and hunger alongside Ambassador Susan Rice, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Mike Braun, and Chairman James P. McGovern.
Wong served as a FoodCorps service member in Connecticut with East Hartford Public Schools during the 2021-2022 school year. At Anna E. Norris Elementary, she worked closely with the district’s Farm to School and Health and Wellness committees, where she conducted community health and nutrition education, taught weekly classes to elementary students, built and maintained four school gardens, and coordinated community produce distribution. In addition, Wong worked to incorporate healthy and culturally diverse foods into the school menus.
“I’m honored to join renowned leaders advocating for better access to healthy, nutritious, local food while representing FoodCorps and the College of the Holy Cross on the national stage at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health,” said Phoebe Wong. “Collaboration between local farms and nearby schools is a crucial element of our children’s access to nourishing food, and I’m excited to leverage my service experience to elevate the solutions we need to drive these partnerships forward. I thank the White House for this opportunity, FoodCorps for the service experience, and Holy Cross for their support throughout this entire journey.”
Ahead of her conference participation, Wong will join Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) and three food systems leaders on a panel called Building the Political Will and Moral Courage to End Hunger in America at the College of the Holy Cross on Monday, September 26th. The panel will discuss the problem of hunger, our moral imperative to end it, and ways the Holy Cross community, as individuals and as an institution, can affect change.
Wong is currently a first-year student at the College of the Holy Cross, majoring in International Studies with a concentration in East Asian studies and Mandarin, and working as a photographer for all of the Division 1 sports teams. She was also recently an intern at Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, which offers several TV shows, a podcast, cookbooks, an online retail store, and school with easy recipes from around the world.
FoodCorps has been actively involved in shaping and informing organizers through its extensive network of school nutrition professionals, service member alumni, partners, experts, and advocates since the White House’s call in May to stakeholders to submit their ideas, stories, and recommendations to help set the goals and policy agenda of the conference.
Launching its #TimeForFoodEd campaign, FoodCorps hosted listening sessions with education and nutrition leaders from across the country to outline key policy recommendations in a report “Nourishing Futures for Every Student” submitted to the White House in July. The policy recommendations include school meals for all, making nutrition and food education part of the school day, upgrading school kitchens, and increasing the representation of Black, Indigenous, multiracial, and people of color (BIMPOC) leadership in school nutrition careers.
Additionally, FoodCorps launched a grassroots petition, which amassed more than 1,600 supporters urging President Biden to support placing a food educator in every school. FoodCorps Co-Founder and CEO Curt Ellis also served on a diverse, independent, nonpartisan Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to inform the White House’s planning efforts around the conference.