Witnesses to Hunger started the new decade by celebrating our 2nd birthday and planning activities for the coming year.
Rachel, Tammy and Susan presented on the importance of participating in the upcoming US Census. The Federal Government uses Census data to distribute program funds, such as SNAP, to States and Cities. WTH Census Committee will work to maximize participation in the Census that begins April 1, 2020.
Annie Harper from the Yale PRCH spoke to the group about her research in dept impact on our health. WTH will be posting details on programs she will be hosting next week.
Kim & Billy discussed plans to organize our membership efforts. They ask members to sign up for one or more of three committee; Program Support, Policy Action, and Program Support. Each committee will discuss the activities for the coming year and report back at the February meeting three goals to complete. Among some of our continuing activities are visiting our Legislative Office Building, Secret Shopper Research Project, Photo Stories, Grant Applications, and Filling the Summer Meal Gap .
Members also enjoyed a tasty Spanish meal from El Collado,
Mujahid, Founder and Organizing Director of CTCORE-Organize Now! (Community
Organizing for Racial Equity) conducted the first of a four part racial justice training series for members of
Witnesses to Hunger. The training will
provide members with the knowledge and skills required to attain their vision
of a united community where all people have access to adequate, good quality,
and nutritious food by eliminating the racial inequities that create food
insecurity and constructing just systems and institutions to replace them.
The first forum was an overview of the elements of change and systems and the foundational skills and vision required to create systemic change .
On Wednesday May 1st, numerous members of Witnesses to Hunger went to the Capitol in Hartford to participate in Hunger Advocacy Day. We heard from Susan Bysiewicz (Lieutenant Governor), Bryan Hurlburt (Agriculture Commissioner), Jason Jakubowski (Foodshare CEO), Bernie Beaudreau (CT Food Bank CEO), Robin Lamott Sparks (End Hunger CT! Executive Director), and our very own Witnesses to Hunger site leader Kim Hart. Kim talked about why legislation and policy changes are important in the fight towards ending hunger. She emphasized how lived and learned experiences go together, and that’s why policy makers need Witnesses to Hunger.
All of the speakers (listed above) recognized Witnesses to Hunger and our “sea of blue t-shirts” in the audience. They expressed enthusiasm about working together.
Witnesses displayed a photo voice exhibit around the room for attendees to see. The photos represented what hunger looks like on an individual level – capturing images like fridges and freezers before and after SNAP benefit allotments, soup kitchens, dinner made with food pantry items, and the price differences between meats.
After the speaking event, Witnesses went to different legislator’s offices to introduce themselves, describe the work they do, and advocate for policy changes.
Stay tuned for what comes next for Witnesses to Hunger! There are a lot of exciting events and opportunities in the works.