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Illinois youth come to the table on food insecurity

Monday, March 1, 2021
2021 Illinois 4-H Food Action Summit is May 15th, 2021


URBANA, Ill.— Local solutions to food access, food security, and food justice in Illinois will be developed by youth leaders and industry experts Illinois 4-H Food Action Summit.  The virtual conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 15. 

University of Illinois researchers, non-profit professionals, food advocates, and civic leaders will lead workshops designed to empower young people to strengthen their leadership and work to create food security in their communities. 

“We hope youth walk away from this conference with an expanded vision of what is possible in the world of food systems both academically and professionally,” says Mark Becker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development food systems specialist. “We hope the Summit sparks ideas and empowers youth to act on them in their communities.” 

Bobby Smith II, a sociologist and assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at Illinois will discuss the future of food justice as the conference keynote speaker. Ten additional workshops will help youth analyze hunger in their local communities and develop action steps to meet those needs.

 “This will be a great personal and professional development experience for those participating,” says Becker. “Youth will be able to network with food advocacy professionals and gain skills needed to be an advocate for positive change.”

The conference is open to any Illinois youth age 13 and older. Register online at go.illinois.edu/FoodAction2021. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact Carla Blue, event coordinator, at blue1@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs. 

COMPEER Financial provides financial support for this event through the Illinois 4-H Foundation.


Source: Mark Becker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Food Systems, mbbecker@illinois.edu

WriterCarissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, University of Illinois Extension , 4-H, carissa7@illinois.edu 

About 4-H: Illinois 4-H helps youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H impacts the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.


About Extension:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.