Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Food Waste & Hunger Summit

The third annual Food Waste & Hunger Summit is April 16-17 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Each spring, we host a Food Waste & Hunger Summit that brings together leading national nonprofit organizations and engaged students who are working to fight food waste and hunger, for a packed weekend of learning about advocacy, service and leadership. Students and staff from universities across the country share best practices, ideas and resources to expand their impact in the fight against food insecurity. Our 2016 Food Waste & Hunger Summit is scheduled for April 16-17 in Fayetteville, AR, where we expect 250 emerging leaders representing the next generation of hunger relief.



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Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Key note speakers


Robert Egger
President & Founder
L.A. Kitchen

Robert EggerRobert Egger pioneered the model of L.A. Kitchen during his 24-year tenure as the President of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary job training program. DC Central Kitchen operates its own revenue generating business, Fresh Start Catering, as well as The Campus Kitchens Project, which coordinates programs in 51 university and high school cafeterias nationwide. In addition, Robert is the Founder and President of CForward, an advocacy organization that rallies nonprofit employees to educate candidates about the economic role that nonprofits play in every community. Robert has received numerous awards for his leadership in the nonprofit sector, and his book, Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding For All, received the 2005 McAdam Book Award for “Best Nonprofit Management Book” by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.


Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack (819x1024)

As leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Vilsack is working hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the tremendous innovation of rural America. USDA has supported America’s farmers, ranchers and growers who are driving the rural economy forward, provided food assistance to millions of Americans, carried out record conservation efforts, made record investments in our rural communities and helped provide a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people.

The USDA has helped increase the number of farmers markets by 180 percent since 2006, and made more than 500 investments in local food infrastructure – including food hubs, local processing facilities and distribution networks – to help connect farmers and consumers and create jobs all along the supply chain for local food.

Under Vilsack’s leadership, USDA has partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to improve the health of America’s children. He helped pass and implement the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, enabling USDA to help combat child hunger and obesity by making the most significant improvements to school meals in 30 years.

Prior to his appointment, Vilsack served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, in the Iowa State Senate and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Vilsack was born into an orphanage and adopted in 1951. After graduating Hamilton College and Albany Law School in New York, he moved to Mt. Pleasant, his wife Christie’s hometown, where he practiced law. The Vilsacks have two adult sons and two daughters-in-law – Doug, married to Janet; and Jess, married to Kate. They also have four grandchildren.


Rebecca Vallas
Managing Director, Poverty to Prosperity Program
The Center for American Progress

Rebecca VallasRebecca Vallas is the Managing Director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress. Before joining American Progress, Vallas served as the deputy director of government affairs at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, or NOSSCR, where her work was devoted to preserving and strengthening Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income for workers with disabilities. Prior to that, Vallas worked directly with low-income individuals and communities for several years as a legal aid attorney and policy advocate at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where she was named a Skadden Fellow and a Borchard Fellow in Law & Aging. She is also a past co-chair of the national Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Social Security Task Force. Vallas received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She graduated summa cum laude from Emory University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.


Questions? Please contact Laura Belazis at 202-847-0223 or

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