2020 Virtual Benefit to Feature Panel on Homelessness and Food Insecurity Moderated by Calvin Sims

Nazareth HousingEvents

Nazareth Housing is pleased to host an engaging and informative panel discussion addressing two of the most significant active crises currently facing families: homelessness and food insecurity. The panel is moderated by Calvin Sims, Executive Vice President of Standards and Practices of CNN Worldwide, and featuring expert panelists including Nancy Easton, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools, Judi Kende, VP and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners, and Christopher Wimer, Co-Director, Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

The panel will explore homelessness and food insecurity through the lens of COVID-19, calling upon their respective decades of experience to analyze the prevalence of these issues pre-COVID, how the pandemic has exacerbated these hardships, and the rapidly changing economic landscape for families living in poverty.


Calvin Sims
Executive Vice President of Standards and Practices, CNN

Calvin Sims is Executive Vice President of Standards and Practices of CNN Worldwide. Sims is an accomplished media executive, with more than 30 years of experience in news, foreign affairs and philanthropy, serving in senior roles at International House, The New York Times, Discovery Times Channel, Ford Foundation and Council on Foreign Relations.

Sims spent 20 years at the New York Times, where he was a director, producer, domestic and foreign correspondent and played a central role in the newspaper’s expansion into television, documentaries and the web. Most recently, Sims served as President and CEO of International House, a non-profit program founded in 1924 by the Rockefeller and Dodge families, with a mission to promote cross cultural understanding and peace and prepare world leaders. Prior to that, he served as Program Officer for the Ford Foundation, managing a portfolio of news media and journalism grants, focusing on the development of a free and responsible press worldwide.


Nancy Easton
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools

Nancy Easton is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Wellness in the Schools. Since founding WITS in 2005, Nancy has helped WITS grow from one classroom at the Ella Baker School (NYC PS 225) into a national organization that now reaches 90,000 students in over 190 schools nationwide.

Nancy is a regular commentator and speaker on school food and child wellness and has been recognized for her leadership. First Lady Michelle Obama honored her at the launch of Chefs Move! to Schools, acclaimed chef-food activist Jamie Oliver named her a Food Revolution Hero, and Ann Cooper, the “Renegade Lunch Lady,” designated her as a Lunchbox Hero. Nancy received a 2012 Westy Award for her innovative work, and was honored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, a New York City Council Member at the time.

Judi Kende
VP and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners

Judi Kende is vice president and New York market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. With more than two decades of experience in community development, nonprofit leadership and finance, Judi oversees a 50-person cross-functional team delivering programmatic, capital and policy solutions to address New York City’s most complex housing challenges.

Under Judi’s leadership, Enterprise focuses its work in New York on vulnerable populations, neighborhood impact and public housing – incubating programs and advocating for resources to address issues such as homelessness, senior housing, energy efficiency and resilience, health

Christopher Wimer
Co-Director, Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy

Christopher Wimer conducts research on the measurement of poverty and disadvantage in both local and national contexts, as well as historical trends in poverty and the impacts of social policies on the poverty rate. He is the Project Director on the Robin Hood Poverty Tracker, and also manages and participates in the research on many of the Center’s poverty-related research projects.

In addition to Wimer’s research on measuring poverty and disadvantage, he also focuses on how families cope with poverty and economic insecurity, with a particular focus on how families manage food insecurity and other forms of material hardship. His work pays particular attention to the role of government policies and programs and their potential impacts on the wellbeing of low-income families and children.