Addressing the factors that contribute to food insecurity and the barriers to accessing affordable, nutritious food requires a broad, collaborative approach that is informed by the lived expertise of individuals who experience hunger. It also requires a coordinated effort across agencies that administer Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other programs.

This webinar, made by possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlighted opportunities to address food insecurity by connecting state partners and centering lived expertise, drawing from a recent national exploration undertaken by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). It featured insights from community members with lived expertise as well as state officials from Oregon and Indiana about opportunities to coordinate across Medicaid and SNAP to address food insecurity. The discussion also explored ways to incorporate the experiences of community members into program and policy decision-making.

YouTube video


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speakers: Barbie Izquierdo, Consultant and National Spokesperson; Community Empowerment Manager, Hunger Free America; Alissa Beers, Director of Population Health, CHCS

B. Izquierdo discussed the importance of coordinating across silos and incorporating lived expertise into program and policy design and implementation to fight hunger and better serve individuals and families. A. Beers welcomed participants, introduced speakers, and provided an overview of the webinar.

II. Fighting Hunger by Connecting Cross-Sector Partners and Centering Lived Expertise

Speakers: Nessa Finisse, Program Associate, CHCS; Tamika L. Moore, Consultant with lived expertise; Barbie Izquierdo; Yolanda Gordon, Manager, Expansion and Advocacy, RESULTS; and Alice Aluoch, Founder and Executive Director, Mfariji Africa

N. Finisse described the goals of the exploration. B. Izquierdo, Y. Gordon, and A. Aluoch described insights from conversations with state representatives; representatives from national organizations; and individuals with lived expertise about opportunities for connecting cross-sector partners and prioritizing lived expertise to fight hunger.

III. Panel Discussion 

Panelists: Diane Sullivan, Co-Founder, and Jimmieka Mills, Co-Founder, Equitable Spaces; Daniel Haun, Director of Self-Sufficiency Programs, Oregon Department of Human Services, and Breanca Merritt, Chief Health Equity and ADA Officer, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration; Moderator: Jimmieka Mills, Equitable Spaces

This moderated panel discussion explored opportunities to address hunger by increasing state-level coordination across Medicaid and SNAP and incorporating lived expertise in policy and program efforts.