Provocative conversation, delicious food

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The Empty Plate: Fighting Hunger in the Age of Trump

  • Jessica Bartholow

    Policy Advocate, Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Sam Fromartz

    Editor-in-chief of FERN
  • Elizabeth Gomez

    Associate Director of Client Services, Alameda County Community Food Bank
  • Alexis Guild

    Senior Health Policy Analyst, Farmworker Justice
  • Ricardo Salvador

    Senior Scientist and Food and Environment Program Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

San Francisco Ferry Building

Port Commission Hearing Room, Ferry Building, 2nd floor
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111


The Empty Plate will discuss the state of food ​in​security under the current administration and what individuals, activists, and communities are doing to address it. ​Expert panelists will share stories from the field in urban and rural California​ and ​​will explore ​the ​potential ​impact of the ​Trump administration’s ​proposed SNAP cuts, watered-down school lunch standards, and anti-immigrant policies on ​community ​food security. ​The panelists will ​​offer opportunities to be engaged in solutions​ alongside anti-hunger ​organizations, school districts, farmworker advocates and ​local communities. All dollars raised for FERN will support its California reporting.

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Co-hosted by CUESA, as part of its Politics and the Dinner Table event series, and FERN, the independent, nonprofit news organization producing explanatory and investigative journalism on food, agriculture, and environmental health, the panel will explore action-oriented community solutions to mitigate the impact of the Trump administration’s proposed SNAP cuts, watered-down school lunch standards, and anti-immigrant policies on hunger and food security. Through a dynamic discussion moderated by FERN Editor-in-Chief Sam Fromartz, expert panelists will share stories of food insecurity in urban and rural California and examine how hunger advocates, school districts, farmworker advocates, and local communities are responding to and resisting the Trump administration’s proposed policies.

This panel is co-hosted by the Food & Environment Reporting Network and CUESA

Following the panel, all attendees will enjoy a reception featuring refreshments from CUESA’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

VIP ticketholders are eligible to attend a seasonal, organic dinner at Boulibar in the Ferry Building NOW BEING HELD THE EVENING BEFORE THE PANEL: WEDNESDAY 11/8 @ 7:00PM.

Proceeds from the VIP dinner will fund FERN’s watchdog reporting on food and agriculture issues.

VIP Dinner WEDNESDAY 11/8: 7pm

Panel* 11/9: 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Farmers market bites reception: 7:30pm to 8:00pm

All ticket buyers will receive an electronic coupon for 50% off an annual subscription to FERN’s Ag Insider, a daily news site covering federal and state food and agriculture policy. This is special event pricing.

Attendees may elect to receive a copy of FERN’s print anthology “The Dirt:  Dispatches from the front lines of food and farming 2011-2016 for an additional $40. Select “The Dirt” add-on item at checkout.

No refunds.

*No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact for scholarship information.

Our Sponsors

Hosted and Sponsored by

  • CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Founded in 1994, CUESA operates the world-renowned Ferry Plaza Farmers Market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and the Jack London Square Farmers Market in Oakland. CUESA is a cutting-edge force in influencing how people grow, produce, and eat food in the Bay Area and beyond.