PhD Student Shana Starobin Takes Part in White House Event on Fighting Hunger

August 29, 2012

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, NC – Shana Starobin, a PhD student at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, was an invited participant in a White House forum on hunger on August 7.

The “Creating Pathways to Opportunity Forum: Fight Food Insecurity in America,” brought senior Administration officials together with representative of children’s advocacy organizations, anti-hunger groups and nonprofit foundations to share ideas and discuss solutions  to hunger.  Participants included documentary filmmakers Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, directors of the new film “A Place at the Table.”

Starobin’s PhD research focuses on the role of non-state actors, such as businesses, communities and NGOs, in fostering alternative solutions and modes of governance to address complex socioeconomic and ecological problems, including food insecurity and private regulation of the global food supply chain.  

She is a board member of the national nonprofit AmpleHarvest ( , which helps American gardeners diminish hunger in their community by donating their excess garden produce to a neighborhood food pantry.  

One in six Americans relies on community-based food assistance, Starobin notes, but they often can’t find nutritious fresh produce at their local food pantry.  AmpleHarvest’s mission is to fill this gap by connecting the millions on American backyard gardeners who grow more food each year than they can possibly use with their local food banks and pantries.  

On September 20, Starobin will help AmpleHarvest hold a Congressional briefing, initiated by the office of House of Representatives Hunger Caucus co-chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)

Starobin’s faculty advisor at the Nicholas School is Erika Weinthal, associate professor of environmental policy and associate dean for international programs.