Hunger in Ohio

News Release Date: 

Norman Thomas Lecture sheds light on the food crisis in our backyard and abroad

The Ohio State University at Marion welcomes Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, to the Marion campus, Monday, May 16, noon, in Maynard Hall’s Guthery Community Room. Hamler-Fugitt will present the 39th Annual Norman Thomas Memorial Lecture, "The Economic Cost of Hunger in Ohio - An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure."

Hamler-Fugitt will concentrate her discussion on the food crisis from a local and state level, along with observations about the prospects for food insecurity in this age of government cutbacks. She will also tie in hunger from a global perspective

Hamler-Fugitt’s organization, the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks is a private, not-for-profit organization and Ohio’s largest charitable food assistance network, comprised of 12 Second Harvest/Feeding America Foodbanks, which distributed over 140 million pounds of food and grocery items last year, to over 3,000 member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other charitable food assistance organizations.

Hamler-Fugitt has researched, written, and secured over $200 million in grants from local, state and national government sources, private foundations and religious denominations that have been used to support various social welfare initiatives and anti-hunger programs. As an organizer, she has worked to mobilize individuals and organizations around statewide campaigns and regional grassroots coalitions. As a trainer, she has worked with thousands of professionals, volunteers and community based organizations on public policy issues and advocacy, presented at numerous conferences and workshops, and authored more than a dozen publications to assist advocates.

She serves on the executive committee and as chair of the Membership Committee of the Campaign to Protect Ohio’s Future and is affiliated with numerous state and federal organizations working towards the elimination of hunger and poverty. She also serves as the Governor’s appointee on the Ohio Food Policy Council as well as a consumer representative on the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. She was named ’Child Advocate of the Year’ by The Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio in 2009.

Her Associate’s Degree in Accounting from the South Oklahoma Junior College supplements 20 plus years of experience as a professional and people’s advocate. Her dedication to the people for whom she advocates finds her often testifying before state assemblies and committees, as well as working to empower them through education and advocacy training.

Ohio State Marion has hosted a Norman Thomas Lecture annually since 1972, bringing in a speaker to discuss a topic related to Thomas’s ideals. Norman Thomas, a Marion native, was a tireless advocate of social, racial, and economic justice and the head of the American Socialist Party for nearly half a century. By the time he died in 1968, both major political parties had adopted many of the ideas he proposed.

The Norman Thomas Lecture is free and open to the public. A seminar luncheon will follow the presentation.