Katie Martin is the Executive Director of the Institute for Hunger Research & Solutions at Foodshare, the regional food bank for greater Hartford, Connecticut. She has over 25 years of experience developing and evaluating holistic solutions to hunger.
In collaboration with other community partners, Katie developed the More Than Food framework to build capacity within food pantries to promote healthy client choice, provide coaching to connect clients to community resources, and promote a welcoming and dignified culture. Katie also developed the SWAP (Supporting Wellness at Pantries) stoplight nutrition system to increase the supply and demand for healthy food in the charitable food system.
Katie is recognized as a thought leader on food security issues, and has presented her research at dozens of regional and national conferences. She earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science & Policy from Tufts University. Katie is happily married, is the proud mom of two sons, and a host parent for an exchange student from Nigeria.
Foodshare is a food bank who works with the national charitable food system (i.e. with food banks, food pantries, schools, and Feeding America) to provide access to nourishing foods to reduce health disparities, increase participants’ economic stability and self-sufficiency, identify best practices to reduce food insecurity, and promote a paradigm shift from having the charitable food system be an emergency response to something that is more holistic and person-centered.
We need to redefine the problem of chronic hunger. When we define it as a lack of food, the solution is to efficiently feed as many people as possible. But, if we define the problem as rooted in poverty and other systemic structural inequalities, solutions becomes more holistic.
Why would food pantry guests wait in a line for hours, not knowing what food they might receive, if they didn’t really need the food?
Katie is releasing her new book, "Reinventing Food Banks and Pantries: New Tools to End Hunger", on March 9th. It's now available for pre-order on Island Press and Amazon. The message behind it is to reinvent the way we see the charitable food system. It’s intended for staff and volunteers in food pantries, nutrition educators who work with the food insecure, academics who are interested in conducting research, and hopefully the new generation of young leaders in this field. Island Press is providing a 40-50% discount for non-profits who order the book in bulk before January 15th!
We need community collaboration to identify who is truly at risk for food insecurity and how we can effectively meet them where they are at.