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Meeting the Need

Our Annual Partner Agency Conference

Thursday, May 10, 2018 — Prairie Meadows Conference Center, 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA 50009

The Food Bank of Iowa’s annual Partner Agency Conference brings together more than 100 representatives from our partner agencies and programs to learn from experts and one another. Held each spring in Des Moines, the conference fills a day with breakout sessions, networking opportunities and a keynote speaker.


2018 Conference Schedule

8:00-8:30 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast

8:30-9:30 a.m.: Welcome & General Session: “News from the Food Bank to You”

FRAC’s Iowa SNAP Factsheet Download (PDF)

9:40-10:30 a.m.: Breakout Session 1

  • PRIMARIUS Training
    • Alyssa Bear, Food Bank of Iowa
    • A staple at each Conference! Alyssa Bear will walk attendees through the Food Bank of Iowa online ordering system, Primarius. Learn helpful hints, tricks of the trade and the must-dos to make sure you are taking advantage of all the system affords you. Great for folks new to agencies or if you just want a refresher!
  • Recognizing Diversity
    • Di Daniels, SALUD Storm Lake
    • For anyone who has been to Storm Lake, Iowa, it is obvious that this special community boasts a diverse population. Di Daniels who works with SALUD, a multicultural health coalition, strives each day to create awareness of diversity and to promote the individual and collective health of all members of the community. Their focus lies heavily on the underserved and underrepresented. Come learn about what Di and SALUD are doing, what challenges they are facing, and how they are working with other organizations to create opportunities and promote well-being.
  • Advocating for the Clients You Serve
    • Regenea Hurte, Executive Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association & Iowa Hunger Coalition
    • From the US Capitol to the Iowa State Capitol, legislation that impacts Food Insecurity is consistently a hot topic of debate. Many people want to get involved, but are unsure what to say and who to talk to or are uncomfortable meeting up with their legislator in person. Every voice in this fight is necessary, whether it’s a recorded message, an email, a letter, a one-on-one, or even a campaign. Join Regenea Hurte from the Food Bank of Iowa Association and learn about the many ways to use your voice as your weapon.

10:45-11:45 a.m.: Breakout Session 2

  • Managing a Successful Volunteer Program
    • Brianne Fitzgerald, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service
    • Many times the assistance you get from volunteers can be more valuable than a cash donation. In this session, Brianne Fitzgerald from Volunteer Iowa, will discuss what motivates people to volunteer, what it takes to build a strong volunteer program and how to keep your existing volunteers engaged and coming back long into the future!
  • Safety Net Programs – UDMO, United Healthcare, SNAPSupplemental information
    • Emily Upchurch, Food Bank of Iowa; Alisa Schlief, Upper Des Moines Opportunity; Ashleigh Venn, UnitedHealthcare
    • Do you refer your clients to the Food Assistance Program (SNAP), do you know how LIHEAP works? What about the benefits recipients of Medicaid and Medicare can access? Would you like to learn more about the programs available to provide additional support to your agencies? In this panel session, Emily Upchurch with the Food Bank of Iowa will talk about how to sign up for SNAP assistance benefits, Alisa Schlief with Upper Des Moines Opportunity will talk about the services they provide, and Ashleigh Venn with United Healthcare will share her knowledge on assistance benefits.
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program
    • Cindy O’Brien, Iowa Department of Human Services
    • Do you operate a Food Pantry or prepare meals? Do you receive USDA commodities? If so, you are using TEFAP, or The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Cindy O’Brien, Program Manager with DHS will cover the details of the USDA commodity program and the guidelines you must follow as an agency. This is a wonderful opportunity to get all of your TEFAP questions answered directly by DHS.

12:00-1:00 p.m.: Lunch and Keynote Speaker – Craig Gunderson, University of Illinois

  • Dr. Gundersen informs policymakers and program administrators who are seeking paths to reduce food insecurity and its consequences. Over 40 million Americans live in food insecure households and, due to serious health consequences, food insecurity has become one of the leading health care crises in the United States. He evaluates food assistance programs, with a particular emphasis on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program).

1:10-2:00 p.m.: Breakout Session 3

  • Building a Hunger Coalition in Your Community
    • Jennifer Walters, Dallas County Public Health Nursing Services; Cari McPartland, Salvation Army Ames; Steven Williams, Food Bank of Iowa
    • Many communities are benefiting from coming together and networking around similar services to better serve their clients. Would you like to learn how to bring your providers together and create your own community coalition? If so, this panel session will feature Jennifer Walters, who helped start Hunger Free Dallas County, Cari McPartland with the Story County Food Pantry Collaboration, and the Food Bank of Iowa’s own Steven Williams who will talk about using these coalition contacts to start a retail phone chain
  • The Power of Statistics and Why We Need Them
    • Brittany Morgan, Feeding America
    • Ever wonder why we ask you to report those monthly numbers to us? Or what about when we talk about pushing more pounds into red counties? Why is it red? Get all your questions answered and learn about why we need statistics and what they mean to the work we do. Brittany Morgan from Feeding America will lead this session. Learn how they use numbers to tell the story of hunger in the counties we serve and hopefully help you view statistics through a different lens.
  • Preventing Burnout in the Workplace
    • Dr. Thomas Benzoni, Des Moines University
    • Let’s face it, the work we do day in and day out is difficult. Burnout comes in many different forms affecting all us and impacting the level of work we can achieve. Sometimes we need to reignite that fire and passion that so deeply inspired us to do this work in the first place. Thomas Benzoni with Des Moines University will walk you through ways to recognize, understand, and deal with burnout so you can get back to loving the work you do!

2:00-3:30 p.m.: Resource tables available

2:30-3:00 p.m.: Conference Wrap Up, including Door Prizes and Partner Agency Hall of Fame Inductions

3:30-4:00 p.m.: Tour of Food Bank of Iowa (optional)