NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2023 NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference, which will take place on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in Chapel Hill. We are excited to be returning to an in-person event for this year’s conference!


This year’s theme is “Game On! Winning the Child Hunger Challenge,” inspired by classic TV game shows. So, get ready to “come on down” and test your knowledge, engage in some friendly competition, and remind yourself that a positive attitude is the best way to take on this serious work. By the end of the day, you will be ready to score a victory for the children in your community.


This year’s featured speakers include:

  • Leah Carper, 2022 NC Teacher of the Year, Northern Guilford High School, Guilford County Schools
  • Robert Rolfe, 2022 SNA National School Nutrition Director of the Year, Henderson County Schools
  • Leaders of the School Meals for All NC coalition, including:
    • The Center for Black Health & Equity
    • North Carolina Alliance for Health
    • A Better Chance, A Better Community
  • School Nutrition Association of NC’s 2022-23 President Ruth McDowell
  • Lynn Harvey, Senior Director, Office of District Operations & School Nutrition, NC Department of Public Instruction on the state of school nutrition in NC
  • Madhu Vulimiri, Deputy Director, Division of Child and Family Well-Being, NC Department of Health and Human Services, on the latest nutrition initiatives from NC DHHS
  • Dr. Peggy Wilmoth, Major General, US Army (ret) and Professor, UNC School of Nursing
  • Performance by the students of NC Arts in Action, which empowers elementary school students through dance and live music
  • 2023 Piedmont Laureate Dasan Ahanu
  • Shana Tucker, cellist and Executive Director of Kidznotes
  • Musical performance by Paige King Johnson, musical ambassador for NC Department of Agriculture’s “Got to Be NC” Campaign
  • Musical performance by Larry & Joe, a duo fusing Venezuelan and Appalachian folk music
  • More announcements about speakers and special guests are coming soon!

This year’s conference will include:

  • Leaders and supporters of the School Meals for All NC campaign
  • “Telling Your Child Hunger Leader Story” workshop
  • The latest in “out-of-school time” meals served in summer and after school
  • Youth engagement projects in schools, on the farm, and in after-school programs
  • Experts from UNC on new horizons in nutrition and health
  • Performances from NC student groups and musicians
  • Lots of fun connected to our Game On! theme


2023 NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference

Anyone interested in nutrition, fighting hunger, education, or making sure kids have access to healthy food is invited. Previous conference attendees have included everyone from nutrition professionals, to principals and teachers, to food banks, to faith-based organizations, to elected officials, to advocates and community leaders.

The conference is hosted by Carolina Hunger Initiative, a part of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The conference was started by No Kid Hungry NC, which is a partnership between UNC and Share Our Strength supported by the same team as Carolina Hunger Initiative.

This year’s event is sponsored by No Kid Hungry, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, and the UNC Nutrition Research Institute.

The conference is a day of celebration and inspiration. Attendees will have a chance to connect with other child hunger leaders from across the state, learn about new strategies and success stories, and leave reenergized to continue the fight against child hunger.

This year’s event features National School Nutrition Director of the Year Robert Rolfe (Henderson County), NC Teacher of the Year Leah Carper (Guilford County), a workshop on telling your Child Hunger Leader story, leaders of the new School All NC campaign, a performance from student group NC Arts in Action, and much more.

Click here to see the highlights from last year’s conference, or click here to see highlights from our first nine years of in-person conferences.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023
8am to 4pm

The Friday Conference Center in Chapel Hill, NC

All kids need healthy food to thrive. 1 in 6 children in North Carolina face hunger. More than 60% of public school students in North Carolina qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. (That’s about 900,000 kids.) Increasing access to healthy food for kids has been linked to better academic performance and better social-emotional outcomes. Let’s end child hunger in our state.

To register, visit

See videos, photos, agendas, and more from previous years of the NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference by visiting