In the United States 45 percent of children under 18 – 32.4 million – live in low-income families.
Leslie Hossfeld, PhD
Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, is a Rural Sociologist who has written, received and managed over $5 million in grants to support local food systems and food insecurity research and programmatic activities, through USDA, Southern SARE, Southern SAWG, and major foundations. She has received numerous awards related to rural economic development, and community engagement, and has extensive experience examining rural poverty and economic restructuring. She has devoted the past 13 years to local food systems development in North Carolina examining food access and food insecurity and linkages to local food economy and economic development for high need communities. She has made two presentations to the United States Congress and one to the North Carolina Legislature on rural economic decline. She is co-founder and President of the Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems program Feast Down East (www.feastdowneast.org), an economic development project with the goals of poverty reduction, engagement, and empowerment of limited-resource farmers and consumers. Dr. Hossfeld is currently Associate Director of Local Food Systems, Food Insecurity/Food Access and Economic Development for the UMMC-MSU (University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi State University) Myrlie Evers Williams Institute on the Elimination of Health Disparities in Missisisppi. She is a member of the Southeastern Consortium for Research in Food Security, and past president of the Southern Sociological Society, and appointed to the USDA Rural Growth and Opportunity Strikeforce. She joined Mississippi State University as Head of the Department of Sociology in July 2015 and founded and directs the Mississippi Food Insecurity Project at Mississippi State University (www.mfip.msstate.edu). She is currently working with state partners to develop local food systems infrastructure in Mississippi that links food systems research, economic development, and food insecurity and food access agendas. Dr. Hossfeld works closely with doctoral candidates and new and emerging scholars to build local food systems and food insecurity scholarship and expertise at Missisisppi State University.