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The Fight for Food: Food Insecurity’s Effect on Children

Friday, October 15, 2021
1:00-5:00 p.m. CST

About the Symposium

This year’s symposium will bring together both practitioners and scholars to analyze food insecurity and the immense effect it has on children. Speakers will address the role of corporations in youth food insecurity as well as current USDA children’s nutrition programs. Speakers will also analyze the impact of housing insecurity and the intersectionality of race and child hunger.

Symposium Format

This event will be held virtually in a synchronous format via Zoom.

Cost & CLE

This program is offered at no cost and has been approved for 3.75 hours of General MCLE credit.

About the Children’s Legal Rights Journal

CLRJ is a journal published by law students at Loyola University Chicago in cooperation with the National Association of Counsel for Children. CLRJ focuses on issues affecting all professionals who work with children, including child welfare, juvenile justice, adoption, mental health and education. Generally, the readership consists of lawyers, social workers, physicians, researchers, mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, and educators.

Symposium Agenda

1:00-1:15 p.m.  Welcome and Introductions
1:30-2:00 p.m. Featured Speaker

The Intersection of Environmental Law and Food Insecurity: Immigration issues and the effect of food insecurity on child migrants
Professor Gonzalez, Morris I. Leibmann Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

2:00-2:45 p.m.            Featured Speaker

Critical Race Theory and Food Insecurity
Professor Andrea Freeman and Professor Tanya Washington, Professors of Law at University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Children have a right to both food security and nutrition security. Professor Andrea Freeman will discuss how institutions fail children by allowing corporate greed to capture food policy, resulting in food oppression. Professor Tanya Washington will present a case study of cooperation between teachers and community organizations in Atlanta who worked collaboratively to fill the need exposed by the pandemic. Many policy makers and administrators only recently became aware of what teachers have known for a long time---for economically disadvantaged children, school may provide the only opportunity for one or two nourishing meals during the weekday. Yet agricultural interests drive the content of these meals which, in many cases, sicken the students they are designed to strengthen.

2:45-3:30 p.m.            Featured Speaker

Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs|
Joanne F. Guthrie, PhD, MPH, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

In 2020, according to national data, 14.8 percent of U.S. households with children suffered from food insecurity at some point in the year. This was an increase from the 2019 level of 13.6 percent. In some of these households, only the adults were food insecure, but in 7.6 percent of U.S. households, children were food insecure, up from 6.5 percent in 2019.  This presentation will discuss the most recent national data on food insecurity among children, the negative effects of food insecurity on children’s health and wellbeing, and the role of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s child nutrition programs in addressing the food security and nutrition needs of low-income children.   

3:30-4:15 p.m.            Featured Speaker

The Intersection of housing insecurity and food insecurity as it relates to children s
Professor David Dana, Professor at Law at Northwestern University

Household insecurities - like food insecurity - are generally studied and addressed in law as distinct problems, in a kind of "silo" approach. But food insecurity and housing insecurity (as well as other household problems) are linked, with each able to contribute to the other(s).  This talk explores the causes of housing insecurity and then addresses actual and proposed legal reforms to reduce eviction rates, and thereby engender greater housing security.  The most promising reforms, which have not yet been institutionalized and entrenched in law, are early interventions that provide tenants counseling and rental assistance when they go into arrears, even before the eviction process is underway.  The talk advocates the following: that these early intervention be institutionalized and entrenched in law; that early intervention be used as an opportunity for government/counselors to address not only housing issues, but also food insecurity and resources available to address it; and that social scientists study these programs to determine over time what kinds of interventions maximize reductions in housing and food insecurity (as well as other household problems).

4:15-5:00 p.m.            Featured Speaker

Professor Uche Eweukwa, Professor of Law at University of Arkansas School of Law

Symposium Presenters

Carmen G. Gonzalez, JD, BA
Presentation Title: The Intersection of Environmental Law and Food Insecurity: Immigration issues and the effect of food insecurity on child migrants

Carmen G. Gonzalez is a Morris I. Leibmann Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is a world- renowned expert in international environmental law and has taught environmental law courses around the world and was recognized in 2019 by Vermont Law School as its Distinguished International Environmental Law Scholar. She served as the past chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, as well as the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. She currently serves on the Earthjustice Board of Trustees, and instructs Environmental Law & Policy, International Environmental Law and Environmental Justice at Loyola Chicago Law school.

Andrea Freeman, JD, BA
Presentation Title: Critical Race Theory and Food Insecurity

Andrea Freeman is a Professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She focuses her writing and research on critical race theory and food policy. She wrote Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race and Injustice and was awarded the 2020-2021 Fulbright King’s College London US Scholar Award. Before going to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, she was a visiting professor at multiple law schools across the country. Professor Freeman serves on the ACLU Hawai’i Chapter’s litigation committee and serves as co-chair of the Law and Society Collaborative Research Network for Critical Race and the Law and is a founding member of the Academy of Food Law and Policy.

Joanne F. Guthrie, PhD, MPH
Presentation Title: Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs

Joanne F. Guthrie is a Senior Research Nutritionist in the Food Assistance Research Branch of the Food Economics Division of the Economic Research Service. She has previously worked with the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) at several agencies, including the Center for Nutrition Policy and promotion, Human Nutrition Information Service, and the Agricultural Research Service. She has authored and co-authored several USDA publications and published in peer- reviewed nutrition journals. She also served as a Peace Corps Nutritionist volunteer. She holds a Master of Public Health degree and a Doctorate in Human Nutrition.

David A. Dana, JD, BA
Presentation Title: The intersection of housing insecurity and food insecurity as it relates to children

David A. Dana is a Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Northwestern University. He is a leading scholar in environmental law, land use, property, and professional responsibility. He has been cited for his work on the Takings Clause, and he has litigated in both the private and public sectors prior to becoming a professor of law.

Uche Eweukwa, SJD, LLM, LLM, BL, LLB

Professor Uche Ewelukwa is a Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she teaches courses in both international law and intellectual property. She is an active member of the American Bar Assoication Section on International L aw, and services as Co-Chair of the Committee on Investment & Development, the Vice-Chair of the International Intellectual Property Rights Committee, as well as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of the association. Professor Ewelukwa also serves on the Advisory Board of the African Journal of Legal Studies, the Editorial Board of Law Digest, and is part of the Editorial Team of the Africa International Legal Awareness Blog. Professor Ewelukwa is widely published on topics in international investment law, business and human rights, and intellectual property and human rights.