Food Insecurity Summit – 2/20/2020

A news release from Purdue University Fort Wayne:

Food Insecurity Summit at Purdue University Fort Wayne to explore the problem and possible solutions

(February 15, 2020) — Food insecurity is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “that state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” In Allen County Indiana, the 2017 Feeding America report found that food insecurity affects 13.3% of people in Allen County, with that number increasing to 17.2% for children.

To shed light on the problem and possible solutions, the student organizations in the College of Professional Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne will host a Food Insecurity Summit on Thursday, Feb. 20. The Summit is an opportunity for the public to learn about this issue and what can be done to help. Those attending will also experience the dining limitations of families living in food deserts, several of which are scattered around Fort Wayne and Allen County.

The summit will be facilitated by Patricia Eber, professor and chair of the Department of Human Services, and Eric Manor, director of wellness and fitness and the Pantry at Purdue Fort Wayne. Additionally, a panel of community experts on food insecurity will discuss the issue. Panel members are:

  • Jered Blanchard, community wellness coordinator, Purdue Extension Office
  • Laura Dwire, community programs manager, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
  • Kathy Wehrle, lead community outreach registered dietitian nutritionist, certified lifestyle medicine practitioner, Parkview Health

Six resource tables from community agencies will offer further information to summit-goers.

The summit will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Classic Ballroom, located in Walb Student Union on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus. It is free and open to the public.

The student organizations which are collaborating on the summit are:

  • Chi Eta Sigma—Counselor Education program in the School of Education
  • Tau Upsilon Alpha—Department of Human Services
  • Hospitality Management Association—Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Kappa Delta Pi—Educational Leadership graduate program and Undergraduate Teacher preparation program in the School of Education
  • Pi Alpha Alpha—Department of Public Policy

For more information, contact Sharon Parnin, clinical assistant professor, at 260-481-6063 or


About Purdue University Fort Wayne
Purdue University Fort Wayne is the largest university in northeast Indiana and is part of the Purdue University system. Purdue Fort Wayne is uniquely positioned to serve the region as a crossroads of intellectual, social, economic, and cultural advancement. Rigorous academics are combined with a focus on student success across prestigious degree programs taught by more than 300 full-time faculty. 10,208 students of diverse ages, ethnicities, and nationalities pursue their education on the nearly 600-acre campus. A majority of the university’s 61,000 alumni live and work in Indiana contributing significantly to the state’s economy, vitality, and intellectual strength. The university has joined the Horizon League athletics conference, effective fall 2020, and fields 16 NCAA Division I sports teams. For more information, visit

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