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Department of Public Administration & Policy

In Tandem: Pairing Public & Private Nonprofit Assistance to Make Ends Meet

The School of Public Affairs at American University teamed up with the nonprofit Feeding America to present unique insights about outreach efforts by government assistance food programs.

The panelists included 

  • Dr. Alison Jacknowitz, Associate Professor at American University
  • Dr. Taryn Morrissey, Assistant Professor at American University
  • Dr. Colleen Heflin, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri
  • Stacy Dean, Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and
  • Doug Pick, CEO at FeedMore

Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at Feeding America, provided opening remarks and moderated the discussion.

The panelists discussed how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach efforts are working – how much food pantry clients know about SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, how they use the program and how they first learned about it.

In advance of the event, SPA Faculty Members and graduate students—Anna Amirkhanyan, Alison Jacknowitz, Jane Palmer, Michael Hatch, Whitney Hoft, Fata Karva, and Clinton Silvey—completed a report on the topic for Feeding America. Findings of the report suggest that opportunities exist to better educate and guide food pantry recipients toward additional resources that would help to provide greater hunger-relief to a wider network of people. Key findings will be presented at upcoming conferences, and will be submitted for journal publication.

A recording of the event is available here.

Panelist Bios

Alison Jacknowitz

Alison JacknowitzAlison Jacknowitz is an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Her research centers on issues related to poverty, the elderly, and children and families and her work has appeared in a number of scholarly journals. Additionally, Professor Jacknowitz is a Research Affiliate at the University of Michigan's National Poverty Center.

Taryn Morrissey

Taryn MorrisseyTaryn Morrissey is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Her research analyzes public policies related to poverty, family instability, children's development, and food insecurity. Professor Morrissey also has public sector experience working on the President's Early Learning Initiative as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Colleen Heflin

Colleen HeflinColleen Heflin is an Associate Professor and PhD Program Director in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. The focus of Dr. Heflin's research is on welfare policy and the well-being of vulnerable populations, particularly, the causes and consequences of material hardship. Her research has appeared in scholarly journals and received specific recognition in 2014 when the American Sociological Association awarded her the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship for her work on community social capital.

Bio Courtesy of University of Missouri

Stacy Dean

Stacy DeanStacy Dean is the Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Dean works with policymakers and NGO's to give low-income families better access to the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and improve the program. Her focus revolves around nutrition programs, immigrant issues, the federal budget, and cross program integration.

Bio Courtesy of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Douglas Pick

Douglas PickDouglas Pick is the CEO of FeedMore, the leader of Central Virginia's hunger-relief services that operates the Central Virginia Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Community Kitchen. Since 2011, Pick led his own leadership consulting company, Travrse. Prior to that, he worked for 12 years as an executive with Capitol One, where he co-founded an international software subsidiary and started Capital One university.

Lisa Davis, Moderator

Lisa DavisAs Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Lisa Davis leads Feeding America's government relations and advocacy team – developing and implementing strategies for advancing Feeding America's policy priorities with Congress and the Administration and engaging the Feeding America network of 200 food banks and online anti-hunger advocates. She regularly represents Feeding America and its network before Congress and the USDA, with corporate and non-profit partners, and at forums and events on anti-hunger policy.

Bio Courtesy of Feeding America