University News

Food Insecurity Conference to be held March 2 at WIU-QC

January 26, 2018

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MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University-Quad Cities will host its second annual Food Insecurity Conference from 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 2 on the WIU-QC campus, 3300 River Drive, Moline, in 103/104 Riverfront Hall. The event is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required by Thursday, Feb. 15.

The event will feature three guest speakers as well as a discussion panel. Speakers will be Caitlin Szymanski, Local Foods Program coordinator, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Liz Hogan-Wells, vice-chair of the Food Rescue Partnership, a Quad-Cities group that works to rescue food from becoming waste; and Michael Miller, president and CEO, River Bend Foodbank, (Davenport, Iowa).

According to Haley ("Hal") Dutmer, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and conference organizer, the event will focus on the systemic causes of food insecurity, as well as strategies to support students facing food insecurity on college and university campuses.

Dutmer, who manages The Pantry at WIU-QC, noted that "college is not the same as it used to be. We are seeing more and more students who are commuting, working full or part-time, maybe raising a family, and we are seeing that a substantial number of students are struggling to afford adequate food. In a recent national study, 48% of students were found to experience some level of food insecurity. It's becoming harder for students to afford their education and we see that sometimes students are sacrificing food just to get their degrees, in hopes that they won't have to worry about food in the future."

Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided. To register, visit, or for more information, contact Dutmer at or (309) 762-3999, extension 68041.

Posted By: Alison McGaughey (
Office of University Relations