In August, ten staff members attended the conference of our national association, the Association of Nutrition Services Agencies (ANSA). The three days were jam-packed with information and activities, lasting from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm each day. Staff attended numerous workshops like “Current Nutrition Issues in HIV,” “Online Tools for Effective Advocacy,” Capital Campaigns: Building for Success” and “Medicare & Medicaid: Changes & Opportunities.”  Five of us presented our own workshops and we all enjoyed participating in workshops and plenary sessions. It was particularly rewarding to hear our colleagues recognize God’s Love as a model of organizational innovation in so many different areas. 

At the conference, I had the honor of leading a Peer Coaching session, where every conference participant had the opportunity to receive guidance and hear potential solutions to an issue they face at work from three of their colleagues. I also led an Advocacy Luncheon where we showcased many of the efforts underway to promote Food and Nutrition nationally and locally throughout the country. Most of these efforts are supported by the MAC AIDS Fund which also gave us the chance to thank MAC AIDS for all they do to support our programs. 

The whole conference was very fulfilling as each of us brought back valuable information that we will share throughout God’s Love to help make us the best organization we can be. 

The closing plenary of the conference focused on the future of ANSA and new opportunities for partnership. Within the climate of health reform and the new focus developing around “food as medicine,” our goal is to promote ANSA and all of its members as central to the conversation around improving health outcomes while lowering the cost of health care. Staff from all member organizations exchanged great ideas, and we look forward to putting them into practice in the year to come. 

Our thanks to our friends and ANSA in Boston for hosting this year’s terrific conference and we send our best regards to everyone with whom we shared time, luncheons, laughter and ideas. ANSA is always a wonderful experience and you can see photos from this year’s conference on our Flickr site.