71% of the people we serve live in poverty. Nearly half of them have had to choose between buying food and paying for utilities, rent, mortgage or medical care.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is proud to announce that, in January, we were inducted into the Feeding America Advocacy Hall of Fame. We are part of an elite group as only one of twelve food banks in the nation to be included. As a new member of the Hall of Fame, we will have our name engraved on a plaque to be featured at Feeding America’s Washington, DC office.
Feeding America is a national hunger relief agency, which works to feed our country’s food insecure individuals through its network of member food banks. In addition to distributing food and grocery products through its member agencies to where they are needed most, they also aim to engage the country in the fight to end hunger. They make it their priority to bring issues of hunger to the forefront and engage and empower the public to work towards developing a solution.
To be considered for the Feeding America Advocacy Hall of Fame, The Food Bank had to meet a variety of criteria and complete several advocacy projects throughout the year. It was necessary to demonstrate leadership through contacting members of congress, engaging the local media on policy issues and educate & mobilize local organizations about policy issues. We exceeded many of the criteria, by accomplishing such goals as:
Looking ahead, The Food Bank plans to continue leading the community in advocating for hunger relief in Western Massachusetts. We recently completed a series of advocacy training workshops throughout the month of January for our partner agencies in the emergency food network. These were designed to provide resources and tools for agencies to engage their clients and help empower them to effectively communicate with legislators and their staff concerning issues surrounding hunger. Attending the workshops were a number of legislators (and/or their staff) representing the four counties of Western Massachusetts, including Sen. Benjamin Downing, Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Rep. Paul Mark, Rep. Peter Kocot, and Sen. James Welch. They discussed the importance of constituents advocating on their own behalf and the role that feedback from voters in their district plays in their work.Comments Off
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