Thank you very much, Kent, for that introduction, and thank you especially for the terrific work that you and your colleagues in AARP’s Iowa office are doing on behalf of the people in this state who are 50+.
Thank you, Ambassador Quinn, for your leadership on this summit and in so many other ways on the issue of hunger. I also want to express my appreciation to the organizers of this forum for inviting me to talk to all of you this morning.
I am pleased to come to a state that plays such an important role in combating hunger—not only as a producer of food but also as a steadfast champion of access to food.
Each one of you—whether you’re with a nonprofit organization or you’re in the private sector or the public sector—is contributing to the fight against hunger—and I know there is a great deal we can learn from each other.
Here in Iowa and across the US, a critical part of combating hunger is finding committed volunteers. I was struck by the name of Gov. Branstad’s call to action seeking to increase the average number of hours Iowans volunteer each year.
It’s called, “What’s your 50?”
That sounds like something you would hear at AARP, which represents about 37 million people who are 50+. We know that many AARP members are asking “What’s next?” in their own lives.
They’re asking, “What can I do to bring even greater meaning and purpose to my later years?
How can I help to build a stronger community?
What new challenges and connections should I pursue to live a rewarding life?”
Coinciding with the United Nations World Food Day, the Iowa Hunger Summit is an annual event that gathers leaders from across Iowa representing community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, social agencies, churches and religious communities, schools and universities, and other individuals and groups that lead or participate in projects to confront hunger. The World Food Prize Foundation established the Iowa Hunger Summit as a means to celebrate Iowa’s great successes in fighting hunger and poverty and to unite in further action against both.
Read Ms. Jenkins prepared remarks below.