Delegate Update: HOD Outcomes of the Spring 2013 HOD Meeting
D. Milton Stokes, PhD, MPH, RD, CD-N
June 6, 2013
The House of Delegates met virtually on May 4-5, 2013, for the 89th meeting of the House. This marks the fifth annual HOD virtual meeting.
One mega issue was discussed during the meeting: Hunger in America-Food and Nutrition Insecurity Affects all RDs and DTRs. Saturday’s dialogue session was focused on the barriers that need to be overcome for members to reduce food and nutrition insecurity in their communities. Delegates determined how members are uniquely qualified to lead efforts to end food and nutrition insecurity. The dialogue session for day 1 concluded with delegates determining: 1.) as food and nutrition leaders, what the ethical and/or social responsibilities should be to share knowledge and to inspire others to create solutions; and 2.) how delegates can inspire/motivate others to take action (to be active in/participate in/commit to) finding solutions to food and nutrition insecurity.
The second part of the dialogue began on Sunday with a presentation provided by Michelle Marshall, the Director of Nutrition at Feeding America. Delegates learned from the presentation: why it’s important for RDs or RDNs and DTRs to understand and address food insecurity; what the Feeding America network is and the important role food banks can play in addressing food insecurity and promoting health; and lastly, what opportunities exist for Academy members to get involved in Feeding America. The presentation set up the dialogue for the Day 2 which included a discussion on opportunities that exist in member communities that may be effective to overcome the barriers delegates determined during Day 1. Delegates discussed various community resources (organizations and/or individual(s)) that members can potentially collaborate with to address food insecurity. And the dialogue session concluded with a discussion on how members can influence and facilitate sustainable change to minimize or eliminate food and nutrition insecurity.
Based on the dialogue, a series of guiding principles were identified (the list provided is not all inclusive):
- Educate and empower members to become active in addressing this issue in their communities;
- Provide direction for affiliates, DPGs and MIGs and Public Policy Panels;
- Centralize resources for utilization by members;
- Capitalize on opportunities and solutions for individuals throughout the lifecycle that exist within the Academy, Foundation and other organizations. In addition, provide opportunities at FNCE, articles in the Food and Nutrition Magazine, and within the KidsEatRight campaign;
- Provide opportunities to share information within the Academy and with policy makers;
- Position the RD, RDN and DTR as key partners in the efforts to end hunger.
Since the dialogue, the resulting motion was passed by the House. The following activities have been requested by the House of Delegates:
- Collaborate with the Foundation and Feeding America to create an electronic forum to share knowledge and information for members and consumers,
- Publication of articles detailing Academy member involvement and innovative solutions that address the issue,
- Development of educational and motivational programs (i.e., webinars, FNCE) for distribution throughout the Academy,
- Coordinate efforts with other Academy organizational units (i.e., ACEND, Foundation and LPPC).
And, the HOD requests the appointment of a Food and Nutrition Security Task Force composed of delegates, DPG members and other Academy organizational units to develop action plans and strategies based on delegate input (pre-, during and post Spring HOD Meeting) for each of the following:
- Members-individual members, DPGs, MIGs and Affiliates (internal)
- Professional Development (internal)
- Public Policy and Advocacy (internal and external)
- Partnerships/collaborations (external).
The HOD Leadership Team will monitor the work of the task force. The outcomes of the motion will be shared with the House of Delegates in spring 2014. Reports from the task force will be shared on a regular basis.
Many Academy updates were provided electronically to HOD meeting attendees two weeks in advance of the spring meeting. In recorded presentations, Becky Dorner (Speaker of the House), Ethan Bergman (Academy President), Mary Russell (Academy Treasurer), and Diane Heller (Academy Foundation Chair) provided updates on their respective areas. The recorded presentations can be found at www.eatright.org/hod > Spring 2013 Meeting > Meeting Materials.
All materials related to Spring 2013 House of Delegates Meeting, including slides from various Academy related updates and outcome materials, are located online for members: www.eatright.org/hod > Spring 2013 Meeting > Meeting Materials.