Meds & Food For Kids logo

St. Louis High School Students Meet World Food Prize Laureate

Meds & Food for Kids Convenes Experts and Community to Address Hunger Crisis

April 26, 2024
Contact: Maggie Probert, Meds & Food for Kids, 314-630-2119

ST. LOUIS APRIL 26, 2024 – Students from Notre Dame High School in south St. Louis joined local, national, and international leaders to explore solutions to the hunger crisis that affects one in six Missouri children.1 Worldwide, a child dies every 10 seconds from malnutrition, which claims the lives more than 3 million children every year.2

Meds & Food for Kids presented the Second Annual Zero Hunger: Doing What Works forum, a public discussion to amplify proven strategies and innovative approaches aimed at achieving the United Nations’ goal of a world free of hunger by 2030.

“Domestic food insecurity, violent conflict and climate catastrophes are causing a tragic setback to the UN’s goal of a hunger-free world,” said Chris Greene, CEO of Meds & Food for Kids.  “It’s an important time to highlight how people and organizations in the St. Louis region are making a difference on a global scale.” [See below Why St. Louis Matters in this Fight]

ST. LOUIS STUDENTS ENGAGE WITH EXPERTS

Recognizing this as a social justice issue affecting their generation’s future here and around the world, St. Louis students and their teachers had the opportunity share their concerns and perspectives with World Food Prize Laureate Catherine Bertini, who has been recognized for leadership of the World Food Programme and “Feed the Future,” as well as many initiatives to improve the lives of children and advocate for women and girls. Bertini was appointed to senior positions by three UN secretaries general and five US presidents. She is Founder of the Trust Fund for Girls’ Education and Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Food Initiative.

Keynote speaker Bertini was joined by a panel of leading experts on the local, national and global issue of hunger, including:

  • Lora Iannotti, PhD, is founding director of the E3 Nutrition Lab, working to identify economically affordable and environmentally sustainable nutrition solutions globally. She is also the first Director of Planetary Health and Environmental Justice at the new Center for the Environment at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Eric Mitchell is President of the Alliance to End Hunger. He leads and mobilizes a network of companies, nonprofit organizations, universities, foundations, and individuals to end hunger domestically and globally.
  • Kristen Wild is President and CEO of Operation Food Search. She oversees the operations, programs and initiatives OFS sets forth in the mission of healing hunger and strengthening the St. Louis region.

WHY ST. LOUIS MATTERS IN THIS FIGHT

For many reasons St. Louis is considered to be at the center of world-wide efforts to solve the hunger crisis. The region is home to leaders in cutting-edge research in plant breeding, genomics, and sustainable agriculture practices and dozens of growing life sciences and biotech companies that are part of the innovation ecosystem. Others are focused on delivering these solutions where they are desperately needed.

It’s been more than 20 years since Plumpy’Nut – the life-saving, Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) – was brought to international attention and distribution. Washington University pediatricians were instrumental in developing this product and establishing the agricultural and manufacturing techniques to Haiti. Considered the gold standard for saving starving children by the World Health Organization, RUTF saves children from starvation within weeks of receiving treatment.

 

RIGHT NOW – HERE IN ST. LOUIS –

  • Meds and Food for KidsEstablished 20 years ago by St. Louis pediatrician Dr. Patricia Wolff, the organization supports production of Plumpy’Nut and other nutritional supplements manufactured by more than 90 Haitians – who work bravely in Cap-Haitien to meet the need in their country and 17 other countries around the world.
  • Operation Food Search feeds over 200,000 people every month, distributing $30 million worth of food and necessities each year to 330 community partners in 40 Missouri and Illinois.
  • E3 Nutrition Lab at Washington University in St. Louis’s Brown School is leading transdisciplinary research focused on maternal and young child nutrition in resource-poor settings to promote healthy growth and brain development.
  • Alliance to End Hunger can directly impact the resources for children’s nutrition here in Missouri as well as around the world, through their work in Washington, DC to advocate for federal policies that address child hunger and malnutrition


For more information about Meds & Food for Kids, visit mfkhaiti.org