That was the question that launched the Food Bank of South Jersey’s first-ever Jeffersonian Breakfast, a roundtable discussion held at the Perkins Center for the Arts this past September among eleven of South Jersey’s leading change-makers from a cross section of industries. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s renowned dinners, FBSJ President and CEO, Val Traore, led the group through a thought-provoking discussion centered on this question and its relationship to the pervasive issue of hunger in South Jersey and its many contributing factors. “I wouldn’t accept it,” remarked Co-Founder and Head of Business for The Soulfull Project, Megan Shea, in response to Val’s question adding that she would look for creative ways to create solutions for herself and her family. Features Strategist and Engagement Editor for The Courier-Post, Tammy Paolino, noted that maintaining dignity and offering sustained help for problems that remained months and even years later are issues that she would worry about while Pastor Alex Guidry of Healing Wings Community Center cited the importance of nurturing community in times of distress. These thought-provoking responses and others led to a deeper discussion focused on the many contributing factors that lead to poverty and food insecurity and what innovative ways FBSJ can create sustainable solutions for these issues. Those who are interested in learning more or participating in the next planned Jeffersonian Breakfast this spring are encouraged to contact FBSJ.
Community change-makers from a cross-section of industries and backgrounds joined FBSJ President & CEO, Val Traore, to discuss a new vision for tackling hunger in South Jersey.
Attendees included: Karen Chigounis, Executive Director of the Perkins Center for the Arts; Paul Carden, FBSJ Volunteer; Assemblyman Troy Singleton; Tammy Paolino, Features Strategist & Engagement Editor of the Courier-Post; Blenda Riddick, Director, Corporate & Government Affairs at United Airlines; Phoebe Haddon, Chancellor of Rutgers University in Camden; Pastor Alex Guidry of Healing Wings Community Center; Kristi M. Howell the President & CEO of the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce; John Mazzacano, FBSJ Volunteer; Megan Shea, Co-Founder and Head of Business at The Soulfull Project; and Mayor Barry Wright of Winslow Township.