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Join the Family Resiliency Center in Supporting Growing Hope Against Hunger on WILL

11/11/2011  8:00 am

The Family Resiliency Center is a proud sponsor of the upcoming "Growing Hope Against Hunger: An Illinois Response" event hosted by Illinois Public Media on Tuesday, November 15.  This special night of television will highlight public and private efforts happening around hunger needs in Illinois.  

The night will begin at 7p.m., as WILL features a national program from Sesame Workshop that will take a look at families and hunger.  The story will follow Elmo as he learns about the struggles his new friend Lily is experiencing as a result of hunger.  Real-life families affected by hunger will also be showcased during this show.

This program will be followed by a live TV studio (or on-line) panel discussion by those who are working to end food insecurity in Central Illinois.  This panel will be joined by a studio audience who represents various agencies including faith-based organizations, non-profits, businesses or government programs who are also working to fight hunger.  FRC affiliated resarcher Dr. Craig Gundersen will sit on the panel, and discuss his research and efforts attemtping to reduce food insecurity.  

Childhood hunger and food insecurity are a couple of the critical issues that researches in the Family Resiliency Center are studying.  Dr. Gundersen, along with FRC Director Dr. Barbara Fiese, Assistant Director Brenda Koester, and graduate research assistant LaTesha Washington, recently published a Social Policy Report: "Household Food Insecurity: Serious Concerns for Child Development" (full report here; brief here) through the Society for Research in Child Development.  This report showcases the fact that children in food-insecure households are at increased risk for a number of issues, including low birth weight, experiencing academic problems in school, and possible psychosocial problems (anxiety and/or depressive symptoms).  The report goes on to include reommendations to improve outcomes for these children, including making food assistance programs more accessible to clients and less difficult to administer for organizations.  

Another important research project at the FRC tackling food insecurity is the project entitled "An Evaluation of the BackPack Program in East Central Illinois".  Once again, Dr. Gunderson along with Dr. Fiese, Ms. Koester, and Ms. Washington, are studying the the BackPack program (a national program sponsored by Feeding America) and its affects on school performance and family climate.  They are addressing many important questions, such as if the program increases school attendance on the day of distribution, the impact of the program on family mealtimes, as well as how it affects household levels of food insecurity.

 

For a complete listing of events, please check out WILL Connect: Growing Hope Against Hunger web page.