Food Insecurity in the U.S.: Insights from Catholic Social Thought and Economics

Dec 3, 2020
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Craig GundersenUniversity of Illinois

Margaret PfeilUniversity of Notre Dame

Bruce WeberOregon State University

7:00 PM CST / 8:00 PM EST

Free and open to the public. The event will be held online over Zoom and will be livestreamed on YouTube. This event is co-presented with the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization (CREDO), and is co-sponsored by America MediaCatholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO).

Food insecurity has become a leading indicator of well-being in the U.S. due to the tens of millions of food insecure Americans and the accordant negative physical and mental health outcomes and higher health care costs.  Its importance has become even more stark during COVID-19, as rates are predicted to rise by almost 50% in 2020 in comparison to 2019.  Join us for a discussion of food insecurity in the context of Catholic Social Thought with a panel comprised of a theologian, Margaret Pfeil (University of Notre Dame), and of economists Bruce Weber (Oregon State), and Craig Gundersen (University of Illinois), moderated by economist Chris Barrett (Cornell).



Additional reading on food insecurity and work of our cosponsor, Catholic Charities:



Craig Gundersen is ACES Distinguished Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, is on the Technical Advisory Group for Feeding America, is the lead researcher on Feeding America‚Äôs Map the Meal Gap project, and is the Managing Editor for Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.  He is also a Round Table Member of the Farm Foundation, a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame.  His research concentrates on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on the evaluation of food assistance programs, with an emphasis on SNAP.

Margaret R. Pfeil is Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Notre Dame, holding a joint appointment in the Department of Theology and the Center for Social Concerns. She is also a Faculty Fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. She is a founder and resident of the St. Peter Claver Catholic Worker Community in South Bend, Indiana. She has contributed to several volumes as co-editor, including Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with your God: Vatican II, Pastoral Ministry, and Lay Formation for Mission, co-edited with Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C. (Andrews McMeel Universal, 2016), and is co-author of The Scandal of White Complicity in U.S. Hyper-incarceration: A Nonviolent Spirituality of White Resistance, with Laurie Cassidy and Alex Mikulich (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Bruce Weber is Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics and Extension Economics, and Director of the OSU Rural Studies Program, at Oregon State University. He formerly served as co-director of the RUPRI Rural Poverty Research Center. His current research program  focuses on upward mobility and economic inequality in rural and urban areas, rural-urban economic interdependence and the impacts of changes in social safety net programs. He is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association.