Spokane Selected To Participate In Leadership Academy to Combat Hunger

Kate Bitz, 509.625.6719 & Todd Allen Wilson, 202.626.3123

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 10:39 a.m.

The National League of Cities (NLC), in partnership with Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), has selected Spokane as one of 14 cities that will attend the CHAMPS: Cities Combating Hunger Leadership Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. Spokane was selected because the commitment of city leadership to reduce hunger for families, the ability of partners to strengthen meal programs, and the ability of the city to develop a strong citywide campaign that encourages the entire community to act. The first-round grant application was completed with the help of the Spokane Food Policy Council, City staff in the Community Housing and Human Services department, and the office of Spokane City Councilwoman Kate Burke (District 1, Position 2).

“In the last three years, three different studies have shown that while our grassroots anti-hunger community organizations are doing amazing work, we need to develop a more strategic model if we want to see further improvements in our community’s food security,” said City Councilwoman Kate Burke, who will be attending the Leadership Academy as Spokane’s city leader. “I look forward to learning how other cities are tackling this issue, and I’m excited to see what we can do for kids here in Spokane.”

Councilwoman Burke will be attending the Leadership Academy with Nathan Calene of the Spokane Food Policy Council, a nonprofit which advances policy and initiatives that foster a resilient, equitable and healthy food system in the Spokane area.

During the Leadership Academy leaders will learn the requirements for receiving federal dollars to implement the Afterschool and Summer Meal programs and best practices for increasing utilization of these programs, as well as gaining guidance from field experts and broadening relationships with peers in cities across the country.

By participating in the Leadership Academy, Spokane will be eligible for a grant of up to $150,000 and receive technical assistance from NLC and FRAC in developing an anti-hunger campaign which will expand out-of-school meal programs. With support from the Walmart Foundation, NLC has supported 71 cities serving more than 12 million meals to over 140,000 children through the federal Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs over the last six years.

Other cities selected to attend the Leadership Academy include: Little Rock, AR; Mesa, AZ; Inglewood, CA; Miami, FL; Miami Gardens, FL; St. Louis, MO; Jackson, MS; Durham, NC; Winston-Salem, NC; Henderson, NV; Allentown, PA; Denton, TX; Waco, TX.

About The Spokane Food Policy Council:

In 2013, City Council President Ben Stuckart convened the Spokane Food Policy Council

(SFPC) to assess our regional food system and help develop a resilient food system in our

area. The SFPC is comprised of individuals from a variety of sectors in agriculture, health,

education, business, government and community development. Our Mission: to advance policies and initiatives that foster a resilient food system in the Spokane area; one that is healthy and equitable for its citizens, economy and environment. Our Vision: A thriving community that values and cultivates a viable, inclusive, and prosperous food system.

The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.