Network Talks

Network Talks 2024: Understanding Food Insecurity in Our City
About Network Talks


Network Talks

Network Talks is a series of conversations with the wider Hope for New York community about topics that New Yorkers care about, and how our wider network can take steps to help. 

We hope that this will be an opportunity for our network to consider and commit to praying, serving, and giving to neighbors in need.


Spring 2024: Understanding Food Insecurity in Our City

We provided our network with a better understanding of the effects of food insecurity and how it has impacted the work of our affiliates.

Spring Resources


Our Spring Program

6:30 PM | Doors open

7:00 PM | Welcome - Elise Chong, CEO, Hope for New York

7:10 PM | Video: The Father's Heart Feeding New Yorkers

7:15 PM | Understanding Food Insecurity in Our City - Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America

7:25 PM | Biblical Call to Care - Karl Chan, Director of Partnerships, The Bowery Mission

7:40 PM | Short Break

7:45 PM | Panel Conversation: Feeding Hungry New Yorkers

                 Moderator: Karl Chan, with speakers

                 9 Million Reasons, Carolyn Marko, Executive Director

                 The Father's Heart, Marian Hutchins, Executive Director

                 Next Step Community Church, Zac Martin, Pastor of Justice and Mercy

8:15 PM | Audience Q&A

8:25 PM | Closing Remarks: Pray, Serve, Give - Mary Beth Nagengast, Senior Manager, Volunteer Mobilization, Hope for New York

8:30 PM | Meet HFNY affiliate partners around the room. Soup and bread served.


Our Speakers


Joel Berg

Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America

Joel Berg is a nationally recognized leader and media spokesman in the fields of domestic hunger, food security, obesity, poverty, food-related economic development, national service, and volunteerism. He is also the author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? and America We Need to Talk: a Self Help Book for the Nation. Since joining Hunger Free America (formerly known as New York City Coalition Against Hunger) in 2001, Joel has grown the nonprofit into a multi-million-dollar, respected national champion for Americans struggling to obtain nutritious food. Prior to joining Hunger Free America, Joel served for eight years in the Clinton Administration in senior executive service positions at USDA. Other distinguished accolades include being the past winner of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Honor Award for Superior Service (one of the department’s highest honors) and Congressional Hunger Center’s Mickey Leland National Hunger Fighter Award. His personal philosophy in advocating for change is, “Ending hunger lifts us all.” Read the full bio and more about Hunger Free America.


Karl Chan, The Bowery Mission

Karl Chan, Director of Partnerships, The Bowery Mission

Karl Chan joined The Bowery Mission in 2019 as the Associate Director of Partnerships and became Director of Partnerships in 2021. Prior to The Bowery Mission, Karl worked at Compassion Australia in three different roles, including Strategy and Innovation Manager. The Bowery Mission’s recognizable red doors have been a stalwart in New York City for over 150 years, once serving an area known as "skid row." Today, The Bowery Mission continues to serve the wider city community with a variety of programs, including daily meals three times a day. Read more about The Bowery Mission.



Marian Hutchins, The Father's Heart Ministries

Marian Hutchins, Executive Director, The Father’s Heart Ministries

Marian Hutchins has served as Executive Director of The Father’s Heart Ministries for over four years. Prior to her current role, she served as their Director, Community Resources and Development. The Father’s Heart Ministries started as a church before developing a non-profit outreach in 1997. For over 25 years, The Father’s Heart Ministries has been providing the East Village community with a variety of services and resources, including a Hunger Prevention Program on specific Saturdays that provides food, groceries, and a hot breakfast. Read more about The Father’s Heart Ministries.



Carolyn Marko, 9 Million Reasons

Carolyn Marko, Executive Director, 9 Million Reasons

Carolyn Marko is the co-founder of 9 Million Reasons, the outreach arm of Evangel Church, and its current Executive Director. Founded in 2016, 9 Million Reasons aims to give back to the 9 million people living in New York City. The organization has been serving the wider Long Island City community through a variety of services, including ESL and immigration support, with a stronger focus on their food distribution program since 2020. Currently, 9 Million Reasons is our city’s largest, donation-based community food pantry. Read more about 9 Million Reasons.



Zac Martin, Next Step Community Church

Zac Martin

Pastor of Justice and Mercy, Next Step Community Church

Director of Outreach, City Relief

Zac Martin currently serves dual roles: Pastor of Justice and Mercy at Next Step Community Church (formerly Recovery House of Worship) and Director of Outreach at City Relief. For over four years, Zac has overseen the social outreach programs for Next Step, which serves the wider downtown Brooklyn community with breakfast served three times a week and the food pantry open on Saturdays. Read more about Next Step Community ChurchHe recently started a new role, Director of Outreach, at City Relief, a mobile outreach that provides hot soup and bread, hygiene kits, social services, and more to unhoused neighbors at various locations around the city. Read more about City Relief.

Fall 2023: Homelessness and the Migrant Crisis in NYC

We provided our network with a better understanding of the complexity of the migrant crisis and the connection to homelessness.

Fall Resources


Our Fall Speakers

Host: Rev. David Lee, Assistant Pastor, Redeemer Downtown

Keynote Speaker: Josiah Haken | Chief Executive Officer, City Relief


Fall Breakout Sessions

Each attendee chooses (2) to attend

How The Bowery Mission helps homeless neighbors
Speaker: Karl Chan, Director of Partnerships, The Bowery Mission

How The Salvation Army helps homeless neighbors
Speaker: Zack Hodgson, Emergency Services Director, The Salvation Army

Health concerns and the Migrant Crisis (panel)
Speakers: Dr. David Kim, James Leonard, Beacon Christian Community Health Center

Building community with unhoused neighbors (panel)
Moderator: Freeman Field, Senior Director, Programs, Hope for New York
Speakers: Kareem Goubran, Graffiti | Jasmine Francis, Safe Families for Children