Food Insecurity Panel
Sponsored by the
featuring an in-depth conversation with thought leaders to examine food insecurity and innovative strategies for short-term and long-term solutions to ensure reliable, sufficient access to nutritious food. Panelists and moderator's bios below.
Panel will premiere during Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston's virtual Spring Celebration
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 7:00 p.m.
Beth was born and raised in Albany, New York. When Beth was young, she would accompany her mother, who was the Director of Disaster Services for the American Red Cross in North Eastern New York, to fires and natural disasters. Her commitment to service was instilled in her from the start.
Beth joined Catholic Charities over 30 years ago. She serves as an exemplar to her staff by placing the client first and her consistent presence on the frontlines. Currently, Beth leads teams responsible for the management of a diverse array of programs spanning Basic Needs, Education and Workforce Development and Family and Youth Services. She is a fierce advocate for food security. During the pandemic, Beth and her teams have worked creatively and diligently to meet the fivefold increase in need they have experienced while protecting the safety of staff and clients. Beth has a strong network of dedicated donors and volunteers, whose support has been instrumental in meeting the surge in demand over the past year.
In addition to her work at Catholic Charities, Beth is a Field Supervisor for Bridgewater State University's bachelor-level social work interns and Boston College Graduate School of Social Work interns. She sits on the Advisory Committee for the Greater Boston Food Bank. She is chair of the Executive Director's Committee for United Way of Greater Plymouth County and is representative to their Board of Directors and is the second vice-president on the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund Board of Directors. Beth holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Brockport State College and a master's degree in social work from the University of New York at Albany.
A tireless advocate for the hungry for more than 40 years, Catherine D'Amato assumed the leadership of GBFB in 1995. During her tenure, she has transformed GBFB into a $180 million charitable business and increased GBFB's distribution from 7.5 million meals a year to more than 82 million healthy meals this past year. She has grown GBFB's network to include nearly 600 partner food pantries, meal programs and direct distribution sites across the 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts.
Under D'Amato's guidance, GBFB has risen to the unprecedented challenge of responding to the surge in hunger due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distributing nearly 100 million pounds in 2020 to GBFB partner agencies that report serving over double the number of people in need. In 2021, GBFB marked its 40th anniversary since its incorporation while also distributing its 1 billionth pound of food which was accelerated by D'Amato's leadership through the COVID-19 crisis.
D'Amato led GBFB's partnership with Children's HealthWatch, a nonpartisan research organization, to undertake groundbreaking research on the health-related costs of hunger in Massachusetts. The study found that hunger cost Massachusetts at least $2.4 billion a year. Her focus on providing nutritious food to those struggling with hunger has remained steadfast as she recognizes the connection between hunger and health outcomes and the disproportionate impact hunger has had on high-need communities. She is committed to closing the hunger gap for the over 500,000 people in need across Eastern Massachusetts while supporting healthy lives and healthy communities.
Beyond her role at GBFB, D'Amato is the founder of the Hunger to Health Collaboratory (H2HC), a group of cross-sector stakeholders developing innovative solutions to reduce the health consequences of hunger.
D'Amato currently serves on the board of trustees of Fidelity Charitable and Eastern Bank; the board of directors of the Forsyth Institute and the Massachusetts Food Association.
Catalina was appointed by the Mayor in 2016 as Director of the Office of Food Access. Her mission is to ensure that all Bostonians have access to the food that they need and want. The Office of Food Access is committed to building a vibrant, inclusive food culture in Boston that is reflective of the diverse residents of the City.
Catalina López Ospina was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, where she studied science at the University of Antioquia. Her work with disenfranchised communities in Colombia is what led her to public service. She moved to Boston in 2008 to be with her family. Catalina worked in the Boston Public Health Commission at the Homeless Services Bureau for four years as a manager at Serving Ourselves Farm, employing homeless individuals to produce food for the shelter and low-income communities. She started working at the Office of Food Access in May 2016.
Catalina strongly advocates for food sovereignty and access to food as a right, not a privilege.
Nate began his career as a tech entrepreneur and later worked as documentary producer, leading film productions around the world for the UN, USAID, and World Bank. He produced the film Baltimore Rising for HBO. Nate previously developed and spearheaded TEDx events in numerous countries, and was selected as a Gates Foundation "Change Hero" for his work with TEDx elevating voices in underserved communities. Nate began working with José Andrés and World Central Kitchen in 2012, and together they produced a PBS/National Geographic documentary on Haiti in 2015. Nate led World Central Kitchen's food relief efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in September 2017, ultimately becoming WCK's CEO in early 2018. Since then, Nate has led the organization's dramatic growth and strategic shift to its current work using food as a solution to humanitarian crises around the world.
Kelley joined Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston in January 2021. In her role as COO she leads several administrative functions including Advancement, Human Resources, Legal, and Marketing Communications. Her input and leadership are critical to the Agency's aspirations to generate more resources for programs, refine and strengthen the brand, and improve the efficiency of various business functions. Before joining Catholic Charities, Kelley served as Regis College's first Vice President of Marketing & Communications.
Kelley worked for nearly two decades as an anchor and reporter, writing and producing content for all WCVB platforms. She won the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association's Best Use of Digital Media award for multiplatform coverage of the Whitey Bulger trial. She was also part of a team that covered the Boston Marathon bombing, its aftermath and ensuing trial, which won three National Headliner Awards and several Emmys.
Kelley received her doctorate in higher education leadership from Regis College, master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame. She serves on the Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council and the Gallivan Journalism Board. She also is an advisory board member at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.