S:US Hosts First Summit to Serve New York

In photo from left-right: Dr. Jorge R. Petit, Former President and CEO of Services for the UnderServed; Michael Hollis, S:US Director of Urban Farms; Karen Washington, co-owner and farmer at Rise & Root Farm; Dennis Derryck, Ph.D., Founder of Corbin Hill Food Project, Inc.; Leah Penniman, Founding Co-Executive Director and Farm Director of Soul Fire Farm; Cathy Nonas, MS, CDN, Fellow at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research and Executive Director of Meals for Good, Inc.; Kate Mackenzie, MS, RD, Executive Director of The Mayor’s Office of Food Policy; and Andrew Zimmern, social justice advocate, chef and writer.

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The first of Summit to Serve New York conference, which will address social justice themes, focused on Food Security, took place on Wednesday, April 19th at NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life. This half-day gathering featured noted community leaders in the NYC-region food justice movement, diverse speakers from multiple sectors, and organizations serving New Yorkers in the food security and food justice space showcasing their work.

“Food insecurity is one of the most pressing issues faced by so many of our fellow New Yorkers,” said Dr. Jorge R. Petit, Former President and CEO of Services for the UnderServed. “S:US is deeply committed to ensuring that the New Yorkers we serve have access to the fresh, nutritious food they need and deserve. We are so grateful to those who are driving change for our neighbors that joined us today and shared their experiences and expertise on such an important issue.”

Guest emcee Andrew Zimmern, a social justice advocate, chef and writer presided over the conference which brought together 175 guests from different sectors, including government agencies, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

“I’ve lived through homelessness. I’ve lived through hunger. I’ve taken meals at soup kitchens and at the Salvation Army,” said Zimmern in his introductory remarks at the conference. “I also have been a chef my entire life and I’ve worked in kitchens nonstop since I was fourteen years old. Chefs are at the heart of every public policy issue that I can name. We are in: Healthcare, immigration reform, climate crisis, farming, hunger, food waste, economic development. And I think that’s why you see so many chefs picking up a flag and trying to lead other people up the hill.”

Read the full press release HERE.

S:US believes that food is a basic right. S:US’ White Paper, “Uniting on Food Justice: An Innovative Approach from a Health and Human Service Organization” discusses the complexities of food insecurity, highlights innovations and best practices in food justice, and calls for collective action to eradicate food insecurity in our communities. Click HERE to read the white paper in its entirety.

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