Autumn Gathering Welcomes USDA’s Kevin Concannon as Keynote

Catholic Charities Autumn Gathering Returns to Charleston in October

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Catholic Charities West Virginia’s (CCWVa) fifth annual Autumn Gathering is returning once again to Charleston, W.Va., with a goal of raising $30,000 to help reduce poverty in West Virginia.
The gathering will be held Oct. 23 and will be hosted by Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, who will begin the evening with the celebration of Mass for attendees at 5:30 p.m. at an area church to be announced. The gathering will then move to the Embassy Suites for a dinner, followed by a keynote address by Kevin Concannon, undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, USDA.

“Catholic Charities West Virginia is excited to have Kevin Concannon, undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services in the USDA, as the keynote speaker for the fifth annual Autumn Gathering,” said Mark Sliter-Hays, executive director of CCWVa. “He brings a wealth of experience from the faith community and the government on addressing hunger. His work not only supports the vital work of Catholic Charities West Virginia, it is also an example of genuine compassion and dedication in the public sector.”

Concannon has served in his current role since 2009. Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services includes the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). Working in partnership with state and local organizations, FNS oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program; child nutrition programs including National School Lunch, School Breakfast and Summer Food Service programs; The Child and Adult Care Food Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); the Commodity Supplemental Food Program; Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; The Emergency Food Assistance Program; and other nutrition programs.

The CNPP is responsible for developing and promoting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate, and a number of dietary and economic reports influencing nutrition policy. Concannon previously served as director of State Health and Human Services departments in Maine, Oregon and Iowa. He served as president of the American Public Welfare Association and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, as a trustee of the American Public Human Services Association and as a board member of the American Humane Association.

“CCWVa’s Autumn Gathering is an opportunity for people of all faith committed to reducing poverty in West Virginia to be more aware of Catholic Charities and to support our programs that are offered in Charleston and the surrounding area,” Sliter-Hays said.

The Autumn Gathering is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the CCWVa Board of Directors. The attire for the gathering is dress business. Tickets are $95 per person and sponsorships are available. For more information or to register, call (888)-900-2989.

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