Hunger and its connection to poverty, health, social justice, financial decision-making, community building, public policy and other topics were the focus of our first-ever “Hungry for Change” summit on Sept. 16, 2015. More than 180 people attended the summit, which took place at 6 Stones, a Tarrant Area Food Bank Partner Agency in Bedford, TX.

Margret Fields, pastor of outreach at Acton United Methodist Church in Granbury, TX, opened the summit with a message about lifelong learning. During the morning session, Fields spoke about Project-44, a nonprofit she and her husband founded in 2008 to provide vehicles to families in need. Over time, the organization began to evolve to meet other needs in the community, including access to fresh produce.

In 2010, they began the 2.5-acre Project-44 Farm to provide fresh, organic produce to the local community. With the help of community partners, each week the Project-44 Farm generates thousands of pounds of fresh produce that is distributed to local agencies. Fields emphasized that the expertise that has come from these partnerships has been key to the success of Project-44. “If you are willing to learn, then there are people who are willing to teach you,” said Fields. “Be open to possibilities to learn.”

After the morning session, attendees participated in sessions on cultural competency, nutrition literacy, leadership development, rural and urban food insecurity, hunger and its connection to health, and more. In the afternoon, Joe Ader, the keynote speaker and compassion ministries director for the 6 Stones Missions Network, shared the impact poverty can have on every area of life. He engaged the audience in an activity that walked through the story of someone facing poverty. The story began with a question about what a person without access to many resources would do if their car broke down. The activity illustrated the many difficult decisions those experiencing poverty have to make on a regular basis. During his presentation, Ader also emphasized the importance of partnerships in work to address poverty and hunger.

Partnership has been key to our work to feed hungry North Texans. We could not do this work without our network of more than 300 Partner Agencies and the support of dedicated volunteers and donors. We look forward to continuing the conversation that took place during our first Hungry for Change summit and partnering with you to fight hunger in our community. #TogetherWeCan

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