2019 Conference

Closing the Hunger Gap
Request for Proposals to host the 2019 Closing the Hunger Gap Conference and Membership Meeting
Deadline: June 15, 2018

Download the RFP here.

Closing the Hunger Gap:

Closing the Hunger Gap is a network of organizations and individuals working to expand hunger relief efforts beyond food distribution towards strategies that promote social justice and address the root causes of hunger.

We envision a time when all people can determine their own futures; when nutritious food is recognized as a human right; and when there is a political will to end hunger and its root causes. We envision ourselves as part of a growing, national network of collaborators and learners that engage with and support movements led by the people most impacted by hunger and poverty.


Driven by ongoing conversations between leading innovative food access organizations in the movement to address hunger at its root causes, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona hosted the first ever Closing the Hunger Gap (CTHG) conference in September 2013 in Tucson, Arizona. Committed to bringing this emerging network together on a biennial basis, the Oregon Food Bank stepped up to host the 2015 event which attracted more than 500 participants from all 50 states and Canada.  In 2017, Northwest Harvest of Tacoma, Washington served as the host and the conference participation grew to more than 800 participants focusing on the challenging theme of moving from charity to solidarity.

CTHG conferences to date have served as galvanizing moments in time to bring together a network of food access organizations to learn from each other, and to engage in critical conversations about the limitation of our current emergency food system to end hunger. Outside of the conferences, CTHG continues to serve as a place for learning and conversation, while also building the foundation for networking across the country to shift organizational practices and narrative from that of charity to social justice.

This year CTHG will launch its membership structure and governance model to initiate the transition to a formal national network of food access organizations dedicated to eradicating hunger at its root causes.

The Request:

The Closing the Hunger Gap Leadership Team formally requests proposals from interested organizations to host the 2019 conference. In collaboration with the Leadership Team, the host organization(s) will be responsible for coordination, logistics, and success of the 2019 conference. The host organization(s) will play a critical role in educating attendees about food systems issues in their locale and moving food justice conversations forward. The host organization also benefits from increased visibility of local food systems issues and social and political impacts to enhance current work.


  • Form a National Conference Committee: The selected host organization will be expected to form and coordinate a National Conference Committee (NCC). The NCC will be composed of persons from the CTHG Leadership Team and other organizations in the Closing the Hunger Gap network and will make up the ad hoc CTHG Conference Planning Strategic Working Group through the completion of the 2019 conference (see below for a description of the strategic working group). At least two individuals from the host organization will coordinate this group.
    • This group is generally responsible for:
      • Theme/Name: informed by the major themes highlighted in the 2017 conference evaluation and approved by Leadership Team.
      • Identify Keynote
      • Build track themes
      • Review scholarships
      • Promotion of conference
      • Sponsorships
      • Work closely with the CTHG Conference Strategy Group
  • Form a Local Conference Committee: The selected host organization will be expected to form and coordinate a Local Conference Committee (LCC). The LCC will be comprised of persons from the region in which the host organization resides. At least two individuals from the host organization will coordinate this group.
    • This group is generally responsible for:
      • Session Content
      • Identifying local presenters
      • Organizing volunteer help during conference
      • Organizing field trips
      • Pre-conference dinner/social activities
      • Reviewing and awarding scholarships
      • Promotion of conference
      • Obtaining sponsorships
      • Locating a venue and liaising with venue staff
      • Work closely with the CTHG Conference Strategic Working Group

The Closing the Hunger Gap Conference Strategic Working Group Role:

The conference planning work group exists to carry out and move forward the strategic priorities developed by the conference evaluation outcomes and the Leadership Team.

  • Advisory role to national and local committees
  • Organizing a general membership meeting to set the strategic direction of the national network for the next two years
  • Providing conference planning templates and documents
  • Provide transition between conference hosts
  • Provide support in conference planning to ensure desired outcomes and goals are kept on target.
  • Act as liaison between Leadership Team and conference host.
  • Assist with locating national sponsorships

The Closing the Hunger Gap Leadership Team Role:

  • Approval of conceptual framework for overall session content
  • Approval of theme/name of conference
  • Assist with locating national sponsorships
  • Promotion of conference


The host organization should have the capacity to fully coordinate a fiscally responsible conference (through organization funds, registration fees, sponsorship and/or fundraising) at about $175,000 – $275,000.



RFP submissions due by June 15, 2018.

Secure host organization by August 1, 2018.

Submission of Proposals:

To apply, send your proposals on or before April 30, 2018. In your proposal please address the following:

  1. Explain why your organization would like to host the 2019 Closing the Hunger Gap conference.
  2. Briefly describe your organization’s mission, vision, and reason for interest in hosting the conference. If your submission includes a collaborative of multiple organizations, please provide information about each organization.
  3. Identify the members of the conference organizing team. Provide their names, organization affiliations, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  4. Identify potential venues in your community with:
    • An auditorium with capacity to hold up to 500 people
    • Approximately 10-20 classrooms/breakout rooms, each with capacity for 20-30 people
    • A/V setup or capability in each room including the auditorium
    • WiFi capability in each room including the auditorium
    • A room or space that can accommodate an expo with 15- 20 tables
    • Use of a commercial kitchen/food prep area
    • If possible, include one hotel or meeting/retreat space that can provide under one roof up to 250 guest rooms on the Conference peak night\

Please note: The CTHG  Conference Strategy Group has found that the guidelines laid out in this RFP led to successful events, however we welcome creativity and innovation in creating an impactful event. If you have concerns about your organization fulfilling any of the items listed in the RFP please consider partnering with other organizations and/or thinking about other ways you could successfully meet the goals of the event.

  1. Describe the unique characteristics of the local food security/food justice movement and how they will be featured in the conference.
  2. Describe strategies or options for providing childcare.
  3. Describe strategies for providing scholarships/work trades for those potential conference participants who might not have the funds to participate otherwise?
  4. Describe strategies for providing affordable lodging for conference participants?
  5. How will your organization advance the conversation on race and privilege at the conference?

Please note:  Given that the conference has taken place in the Northwest the last two times in a row, we encourage applications from different regions!

Download the RFP here.

Proposals may be submitted by e-mail to:

[email protected]

Or by mail to:

505 Eighth Avenue, suite 2100
New York, NY 10018
ATTN:  Betty Fermin