Feeding America is thrilled to share that two members of the Feeding America network have been selected by President Biden to serve on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition. The White House recently announced the President’s intent to appoint Barbie Izquierdo, director of advocacy – neighbors engagement at Feeding America, and Allison O’Toole, CEO of the Second Harvest Heartland food bank, to this federal advisory committee.
The goal of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition is to promote healthy, accessible eating and physical activity for all Americans, regardless of background or ability.
“When I contemplate whether someone is serious about having an impact, I pay attention to who they bring to the table and how deeply they listen to them,” said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. “I have confidence in this council because I know these two leaders to be uniquely qualified to provide insights from different and very important perspectives. I congratulate the administration on appointing Barbie Izquierdo and Allison O’Toole. I believe they will make powerful things happen.”
Barbie Izquierdo – Feeding America
As an Afro-Latina born and raised in North Philadelphia, Izquierdo felt the impacts of food insecurity and other social justice issues firsthand and is now an advocate, organizer and consultant providing technical support regarding the engagement and inclusion of people with lived experience.
In her role as Feeding America’s first director of advocacy, neighbors engagement, Izquierdo helps lead the organization’s efforts to elevate the voices of people with lived experience of food insecurity and partner with them to catalyze a movement to increase equitable access to nutritious food. She oversees programs to engage neighbors facing hunger in anti-hunger advocacy and help them build and use their power to create change in their communities. Izquierdo also provides strategic guidance on how Feeding America can more holistically engage people with lived experience across the organization.
“It is an honor to be appointed by President Biden to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition,” said Izquierdo. “I am privileged to represent communities that have been impacted by food insecurity while still providing solutions, and I aim to elevate the value and importance of lived experience in these spaces. Throughout my career in the anti-hunger space, and within my role at Feeding America, I have consistently learned the power of our voices, y quiero seguir abriendo caminos para que otros como yo, sepan que Si se puede, que lo puedes lograr, y que TU eres la personal ideal. I am exhilarated to serve alongside fellow trailblazers to help ensure that everyone is food secure and has access to healthy and nutritious meals.”
Allison O’Toole – Second Harvest Heartland
As the CEO of Second Harvest Heartland, a Feeding America partner food bank, O’Toole helps lead an organization that serves 59 counties in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin through partnerships with 1,500 food shelf and program partners. Last year, Second Harvest Heartland distributed 113 million meals to 813,000 people.
“I’m honored to represent our incredible team at Second Harvest Heartland on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition,” said O’Toole. “Reliable access to nutritious food is foundational, especially for children. Kids can’t learn or play if they’re hungry, and we know that nurturing healthy and active minds and bodies is critical to their long-term health and well-being. I’m so excited to bring Second Harvest Heartland’s homegrown ideas and innovations to the council and to learn from my counterparts so that we can do even more to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive through healthy, active lifestyles and access to nutritious food.”
Everyone needs nutritious food to thrive. To build an America where no one is hungry, the country needs a collaborative approach that includes both a strong charitable food system and robust federal nutrition programs. By appointing Izquierdo and O’Toole to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition, the administration is building on the momentum of last fall’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and showing its continued commitment to hunger relief.
Feeding America looks forward to continuing to work alongside people with lived experience of food insecurity, the administration and other partners to advance policies that will help ensure equitable access to nutritious food for all.
Please contact one of our media representatives or call 800-771-2303
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.