The World Food Prize Foundation

2015 Iowa Hunger Summit

The State of Hunger in Iowa

Speaker Mr. Cory Berkenes - State Director, Iowa Food Bank Association
Ms. Lily French - Senior Policy Consultant, Iowa Policy Project
Ms. Liesl Eathington - Assistant Scientist, Iowa Community Indicators Program at Iowa State University
Schedule Laying the Foundation (10/13/2015 9:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.)

This panel session will provide a clear picture of who is hungry in Iowa today, why people in Iowa are food insecure and what is being done to confront hunger in Iowa. Following on the outstanding panel conversations of the 2014 Iowa Hunger Summit, "The State of Hunger in Iowa" will focus especially on how hunger in Iowa has changed and evolved over the past year.

About Mr. Cory Berkenes:

Cory Berkenes has served as the State Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association since January, 2013. He resides in the Des Moines Area with his wife, Crystal, and two daughters, Elsie and Emerson. 

Berkenes’ current position as State Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association allows him to collaborate with the eight Feeding America Food Banks in the state that serve all 99 counties. He directs the state policy and advocacy efforts for the association, oversees the statewide SNAP outreach contract, manages the state food bank disaster preparedness initiative, and establishes strategies for improved food and fund procurement for food banks. Berkenes currently serves on the Leadership Team of the Food Access and Health Work Group of the Iowa Food Systems Council and co-chairs its policy committee, sits on the Advisory Council of the Iowa Food and Family Project, and has co-lead the Iowa Anti-Hunger Coalition.

About Ms. Lily French:

Lily French is Senior Policy Consultant for the Iowa Policy Project. She is Director of Field Education and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Iowa. A former policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, she has served as an adviser to state and local government officials on issues of child care, workforce development and microenterprise development. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Iowa.

About Ms. Liesl Eathington:

Liesl Eathington has worked in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University as a full-time staff researcher since 1998. Liesl also provides technical assistance in support of regional economic development efforts by the Iowa State University EDA University Center, which is housed in the Center for Industrial Research and Service.

Liesl currently coordinates the Iowa Community Indicators Program (ICIP), which provides demographic and economic data and analysis to Iowa’s communities. Visit the ICIP Web site at

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