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Florida Matters Re-Broadcast: Food Insecurity Town Hall

Polk County is a place of so many contradictions. It's the home of beautiful lakes, charming downtowns and historic landmarks. But this birthplace of several of Florida's governors, was also named by one recent study as having the country's second largest percentage of people struggling to avoid hunger.

We hosted a town hall on this issue on April 17 at Florida Southern College’s Annie Pfeiffer Chapel. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talked to people who are on the front lines of this fight against hunger and deprivation about what they've learned, and we also held a Q&A with our audience of about 80 people.

This week on Florida Matters, we listen to highlights from our town hall on food insecurity in Polk County.

Our panelists include:

  • Patricia Strickland, Executive Director of KidsPACK, which provides food for students to take home on the weekends.
  • Whitney Fung, a doctoral student at USF's College of Public Health. Whitney was previously an agent with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Program in Bartow.
  • Steve Turbeville, President and CEO of Lighthouse Ministries, a faith-based shelter in Lakeland that offers comprehensive services to the needy, and also distributes food boxes to area churches.

 

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Credit Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media
Panelists from Florida Matters' town hall on food insecurity in Polk County. Patty Strickland (l), Steve Turbeville, Whitney Fung and host Robin Sussingham.

 

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.