Philabundance CEO attends White House conference

Loree D. Jones Brown, CEO, Philabundance (right) and community partner Desiree LaMarr-Murphy, founder of Murphy’s Giving Market visit Washington for a conference on hunger nutrition and health. Contributed photo.

Philabundance took its mission to a national stage and the highest office in an attempt to solve hunger in the United States.

Representatives from Philabundance, located at 3616 S. Galloway St. in South Philly, traveled to Washington on Sept. 29 to attend the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, joining President Joe Biden and administration officials.

Philabundance CEO Loree D. Jones Brown and Philabundance agency partner Desiree LaMarr-Murphy, founder of Murphy’s Giving Market, made the trip.

“I was encouraged to attend the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health to see a renewed commitment not only to addressing but ending hunger in this country,” said Jones Brown. “Since the start of the pandemic, Philabundance and others working to address hunger have had to be more nimble and more innovative than ever before. Many of these innovations are reflected in the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health creating a real opportunity for government, for-profit and nonprofits to come together to create real and lasting change to address the hunger that exists across this country.”

Jones Brown and LaMarr-Murphy joined other nonprofit leaders, agency partners, business professionals and government officials to hear Biden’s remarks about the administration’s national strategy to end hunger in the U.S.

The conference is historically significant as the initial conference, held in 1969, was a pivotal event that influenced the country’s food policy agenda for the next 50 years. 

This year’s conference was focused on five pillars framing the president’s goal to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

The pillars centered around improving food access and affordability, integrating nutrition and health, empowering consumers to make healthy choices, supporting physical activity and enhancing nutrition and food security research.

(From left to right) Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, Asst. Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services; Loree D. Jones Brown, CEO, Philabundance; Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA. Contributed photo

Philabundance serves a total of nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It is a member of Feeding PA and Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks leading the fight against nationwide hunger.

In addition to attending the Conference, Jones Brown was invited to the White

House for a conversation with cabinet officials including Biden, along with White House senior staff called “Communities in Action: Building a Better Pennsylvania.”

“The support provided by the current administration has helped to keep hunger at bay for so many people,” Jones Brown said. “As the CEO of Philabundance, a food bank serving Philadelphia, the hungriest large city in the nation and its surrounding counties, we saw more people coming to our agency partners in need of food. The additional food and funds provided to us and directly to the people we serve have allowed us to keep food insecurity at the same level during this pandemic.”