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CAO to host 2024 Hunger Summit

Community Action Organization of Scioto County (CAO) is preparing to welcome local leaders and community members to its annual Hunger Summit next week.

The program returned last year with a fury after the hiatus from COVID-19 restrictions, bringing out local, regional, and state officials to speak on the current status of food insecurity.

The organization also had Executive Director Steve Sturgill welcoming guests, and program directors/coordinators Luanne Valentine, Barb Gibson, and Angie Davis providing updates on nutritional programming offered by the host organization.

“Our organization is broad in programming opportunities and three different departments oversaw nutritional services in 2023,” Workforce and Community Development Director Luanne Valentine said. “We work well together to provide services for children and mothers to the elderly and homebound.  We also offer a variety of services, from congregate feeding sites for a wide array of ages, food delivery to homes, food pick-up sites, and more. We recognize food insecurity is a major problem and we dedicate a lot of resources and effort in tackling the topic the best we can.”

This year’s agenda outlines many topics and speakers.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. A welcome by Sturgill will be held at 8:30 a.m. 8:40 a.m. is slated to welcome Davis and Malissa Sarver as speakers to discuss senior nutrition and type one diabetes. 9:30 a.m. will welcome Hannah Hart, of the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, for non-congregate summer meals information. 10:30 a.m. will highlight hunger in Ohio by speaker Shannon Amos of Children’s Hunger Alliance. Wes Hartman, of Portsmouth City Schools, will present on hydroponics at 11:30 a.m. and closing remarks will close the morning at noon.

“It is always a great morning with relevant information to those leading efforts across the community or even community members who wish to become more aware of the concerns of food insecurity,” WIC Coordinator Barb Gibson said. “We always look forward to booking excellent speakers, enlisting a great support network of informational table presenters, and more, to provide an informative event that positions us for a better future in tackling this serious problem.”

The 2024 Hunger Summit will be March 21 between 8 a.m. and noon, at the CAO of Scioto County Welcome Center, 342 Second Street, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.  Local and regional leaders will be present, along with organization representation from a large footprint.

Community Action Organization of Scioto County is a 501©3 non-profit serving southern Ohio, primarily Scioto County, in a wide capacity. Through dozens of programs across five major departments, Workforce Solutions and Community Development, Early Childhood, Social Services, Energy Solutions, and WIC, the agency assists community members in nearly every need someone may have. If there isn’t an in-house program to support a need, then they have a partner they can refer. The agency is “helping people, changing lives” at 433 Third Street, Portsmouth. To learn more, call 740.354.7541. or visit


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