On May 11th, 2016 the Southeast Regional Speaker Series Committee hosted an event titled “Food Fears: Navigating Nutrition at Home and Abroad”. The event took place at the Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center and welcomed more than 200 attendees.
The panel discussion, moderated by pediatricians Dr. Hansa Bhargava and Dr. Taz Bhatia, involved an insightful presentation regarding the issues of malnutrition at home and around the world. The panelists included President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern, the Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Sandra Hassink, M.D., and UNICEF Senior Nutrition Advisor Diane Holland. The discussion on such topics as chronic malnourishment, food safety, hunger, and the health hazards associated with these and related issues equipped the audience with valuable information as well as the channels through which people can be involved in the fight against these dire concerns.
Every day, around 16,000 children under the age of five die from preventable causes—the majority associated with malnutrition. UNICEF’s continuous work in more than 190 countries around the world are aimed at breaking this vicious cycle. An important part of this effort is the provision of UNICEF supplies that consist of specific therapeutic food such as high protein biscuits and micronutrients, oral rehydration salts and zinc, and a variety of therapeutic foods for malnourished children as well as scales, cooking kits, and other supplies for families to assist in proper daily nutritional provision and balancing. Additionally, UNICEF delivers vital supplies for therapeutic feeding centers as well as for supplementary feeding interventions, with specific focus on supplies requested for emergency situations.
As discussed during the event, one of the new initiatives introduced by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Kid Power, provides an opportunity for children and their families to get involved and give back: by getting active, children earn points on their Kid Power wristbands, unlocking vital food packets infused with essential nutrients. These packets are then sent to the families around the world to help them fulfill the daily nutritional requirement, prevent malnutrition, and enable their children to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
The event was rounded by the panelist responses to questions from the audience and a final call to action by the Managing Director of the Southeast Regional Office Jeremy Cole for attendees to be actively involved in providing a better future for the children both at home and abroad by joining the UNICEF USA Southeast Region family and UNICEF Kid Power.