The World Food Prize Foundation


8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. | Registration, Breakfast and Networking

9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. | Welcome 

  • Ambassador Terry Branstad | President, World Food Prize Foundation
  • Mashal Husain | Chief Operating Officer, World Food Prize Foundation

9:10 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. | Opening Keynote

  • Felicia Smith-Nalls | Community Relations Manager, Tyson Fresh Meats

9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. | From Crop to Community: The “Farmer’s Almanac” to a Food-Secure Future

  • Facilitator: Melissa O'Neil | CEO, Central Iowa Shelter and Services
  • Ray Gaesser | Farmer, Owner and Conservation Advocate, Gaesser Farms
  • Shaffer Ridgeway | Farmer, Southern Goods Farm and Grazin’ Cattle
  • Aaron Thormodsen | Hydroponic Farmer, WesleyLife Meals on Wheels

9:45 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. | From Surplus to Security: Ensuring Food Reaches Those in Need 

10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. | Networking Break

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | From Country to City: Combating Food Deserts Across Iowa

  • Facilitator: Hon. Brian Lohse | Representative, Iowa House District 45 
  • Teresa Davis | Owner, West Forty Market
  • Hon. Chad Ingels | Representative, Iowa House District 68 
  • Hon. Sami Scheetz | Representative, Iowa House District 78

11:00 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. | From Farm to Food Bank and Beyond: Collaborations through Choose Iowa

  • Facilitator: Hon. Grant Menke | Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
  • Bob Howard | Marketing Director, Country View Dairy
  • Michelle Kenyon | Executive Director, Field to Family
  • Jacob Wanderscheid | Executive Director, Food Bank of Siouxland

11:35 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. | Keynote

  • Kelly Garcia | Director, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

11:45 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. | From Farm to School Fork: Celebrating Local Foods for Schools

11:55 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. | Lunch in the Borlaug Ballroom

12:20 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. | Iowa SHARES Award Presentation

  • Jim Blessman | Founder and CEO, Blessman International

12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Transition

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Breakout Sessions

“Beyond Empty Plates: Navigating and Resolving Hunger Challenges with a Roadmap for Resilience” 
Location: Founders Boardroom

Join Emmaly and Kelly at the Iowa Hunger Summit for an interactive workshop focused on understanding barriers and cultivating resilience in our food system. We'll explore the crucial role of land access, address the challenge of culturally absent foods and discuss innovative strategies for filling food gaps in our communities. Recognizing the nuanced and community-specific nature of food-related challenges, our approach will be comprehensive, addressing all facets of food systems. Through dynamic discussion and collaborative activities, participants will gain insights and practical solutions to ensure sustainable, equitable access to nutritious food for all. Let's work together to nourish and empower our communities!

  • Emmaly F. Renshaw | Executive Director, Feed Iowa First 
  • Kelly Ridenour Giurato | Regional Coordinator, Sustainable Iowa Land Trust

“Setting the Table for All Iowans: Our Health, Our Future” 
Location: Iowa Gallery

Ending hunger requires a serious commitment to systemic change on many intersecting levels including within our food system. The Iowa Food System Coalition (IFSC) is bringing together the partners, the framework and the readiness to think big and bold. Come learn about the new food system plan - Setting the Table for All Iowans, released this past spring. Find out what it means for Iowa, who’s leading it and how you can get involved. We will provide an overview of our plan, which is broken down into nine priority areas, and highlight work underway by our Food, Health, and Nutrition priority team, including Leveraging Activities and Partnerships to Address Obesity (Iowa LEAP) and the Highland Community Garden in Waterloo. Together, we will take the big concepts of systemic change and break it down into tangible examples of how Iowans are doing the work and empowering other Iowans along the way.

  • Lyndi Buckingham-Schutt | Assistant Professor, Iowa State University; Food and Health Specialist Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
  • Jill Lange | Nutrition and Physical Activity Administrator, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
  • Chris Schwartz | Executive Director of the Iowa Food System Coalition; Black Hawk County Supervisor, Black Hawk County

“Innovative Ways to Fight Rural Hunger” 
Location: Des Moines Mural Room | Garden Level

Have you ever wondered if there’s a better way to tackle your mission? Have you wished that you could experiment more? Have you dreamed of meeting a funder who supports the risk taking needed to our toughest challenges? We’ll introduce you to a funder and nonprofit partners who worked together in ways with new tools to address one of our region’s biggest challenges: rural food insecurity. One in 14 people in Iowa struggle with food insecurity with higher levels in rural areas. When Alliant Energy Foundation dedicated $1M to the Rural Hunger Initiative, they knew they needed to work with grantees in new ways that opened up innovation and ultimately greater impact. This meant leaving behind the traditional grant process and power dynamics and instead jumping into co-creation with six Food Banks in Iowa and Wisconsin. To catalyze the work, Alliant Energy Foundation borrowed an innovation process from Silicon Valley - the “hackathon” - to work shoulder to shoulder with grantees, looking at data, exploring solutions to fit rural needs and designing a prototype - all in one day! This methodology paid off, producing scalable and novel solutions that are now in design, pilot and implementation phases. During this panel, Food Bank partners in Iowa will provide details on their experience with the Ideation session, their Iowa Rural Hunger initiatives and how they are meeting their program needs through this grant.

  • Angie Albright | Assistant Director, Hawkeye Area Community Action Program Food Reservoir
  • Bergetta Beardsley | Vice President of Philanthropy, Food Bank of Iowa
  • Becca Huber | Food Sourcing Manager, Northeast Iowa Food Bank
  • Gretchen Nollman | Food Sourcing Manager, River Bend Food Bank

2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. | Transition

2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. | Breakout Sessions

“Aging in Iowa: Innovations and Opportunities”
Location: Founders Boardroom | Mezzanine Level

Iowa’s aging population is increasing rapidly. Along with this population shift brings the need for new and innovative services for food insecure older Iowans. Older Iowans work longer, live longer, are more diverse and are more food insecure. Join an expert panel of Iowans currently working to meet the need as they discuss 6 innovative ideas to beat hunger in 60 minutes. Topics will include home delivered meals, hydroponic gardening, private/public partnerships, malnutrition and navigating and planning for aging across the lifespan. This session will be highly interactive, and panelists will ask for audience input during a lively discussion and journaling exercise.

  • Alexandra Bauman | Navigation & Supportive Services Director, Iowa Department of Health & Human Services
  • Ashley Danielson | Nutrition Coordination Director, Nutrition and Aging Resource Center
  • Shannon Draayer | Executive Director, Community Nutrition for WesleyLife
  • Tim Getty | Regional Nutrition Services Coordinator, Heritage Area Agency on Aging
  • Eugenia M. Kendall | Strategic Planning and Assessment Coordinator, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Division of Aging and Disability Services

“Food Systems Advocacy - Creating Change through Citizen and Farmer Voices”
Location: Iowa Gallery | Mezzanine Level

The Local Food Policy Network Team is one priority area of the Iowa Food System Coalition. By recognizing hunger and food system development as tandem issues, the group is composed of members of advocates at all scales - state, local, and federal - and engages in food system advocacy on policies related to food insecurity and community food systems. The leaders of the team will share the strategies that they have developed to advocate for sustainable food system solutions that prioritize feeding Iowans and supporting small farmers.

  • Ilsa DeWald | Local Food and Farm Manager, Johnson County
  • Luke Elzinga | Policy & Advocacy Manager, Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry Network; Board Chair, Iowa Hunger Coalition; Co-Chair, IFSC Local Food Policy Network Priority Team
  • Tommy Hexter | Rural Organizer and Educator, Iowa Farmers Union

“Central Iowa Food Insecurity Plan” 
Location: Mural Room 

In February 2024, United Way of Central Iowa and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines unveiled a community-wide food insecurity reduction plan. The Central Iowa Food Insecurity Plan provides valuable insights into critical community issues that are limiting access to equitable opportunities for EVERY central Iowan. In this session, we will discuss the community lead plan, explore the innovative collaborations occurring across the community and expand on steps that are being taken to address this critical issue.

  • Luke Lynch | Senior Community Engagement Officer, United Way of Central Iowa
  • Jessica Nelsen | Health and Well-Being and Essential Needs Officer, United Way of Central Iowa
  • Patty Sneddon-Kisting | Executive Director, Urbandale Food Pantry; Co-Chair, United Way OpportUNITY Food Insecurity Work Group

3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Closing Remarks and Snacks in the Rotunda

© 2024 The World Food Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.