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Call for Presenters—Virtual SPARKS: Achieving Food Security

People distributing food at a food bank

Photo by Joel Muniz | Unsplash

The United Health Foundation estimates that 12.9% of Tennessee households suffered from food insecurity in 2019, lacking access to adequate and nutritious food. This is slightly higher than the national average (12.3%), ranking Tennessee as the 20th most food insecure state in the country. To highlight UT’s research efforts to address the challenges related to food insecurity, the Office of Research and Engagement is hosting a Virtual SPARKS: Achieving Food Security event on Friday, April 23 from 2–4 p.m.

This Virtual SPARKS event will feature lightning talks delivered by faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines throughout UT Knoxville and UT Institute of Agriculture. Research interests include:

  • UT’s One Health initiatives
  • International food security perspectives
  • Community food production
  • Food retail challenges
  • Urban and rural food security solutions
  • Food security effects on the microbiome

Researchers interested in presenting a lightning talk should register no later than Monday, March 19. Presenters can indicate the focus of their research on the registration form. The registration form can also be used for researchers that wish to attend the workshop, but not present a lightning talk.

SPARKS stands for “Seeking Partnerships to Advance Research, Knowledge, and Science,” and the program’s goal is to connect potential collaborators, share ongoing research initiatives, and build a community of interest with whom ORE can communicate emerging research opportunities. For more information, please contact Sharon Pound at