January Meeting & Birthday Party

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,

2020 is off to a great start!

CT-CORE Conducts Racial Justice Forum for Witnesses to Hunger

Isa 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 .

Advocacy Day – We Are Hungry For 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.

Kim Hart speaking at Hunger Advocacy Day in Hartford, CT.

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.

Photo voice exhibit 1.
Photo voice exhibit 2.
Photo voice exhibit 3.

After the speaking event, Witnesses went to different legislator’s offices to introduce themselves, describe the work they do, and advocate for policy changes.

Photos of Witnesses advocating at past events.

Stay tuned for what comes next for Witnesses to Hunger! There are a lot of exciting events and opportunities in the works.

Witnesses at the Hamden Hunger Summit

On Thursday April 25th, some New Haven Witnesses to Hunger members represented at Hamden’s Hunger Summit in Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. They led small table discussions regarding hunger and food hardship. Site leader Kim Hart is quoted in the New Haven Independent talking about why this event is so important. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Senator Chris Murphy personally recognized their work in the community and advocacy efforts.

The Hamden Hunger Summit marked the release of a
data report about those in Hamden struggling with hunger. The report combines stories and data to portray an accurate picture of what hunger look like in Hamden. This all came together under the Hamden Food Security Task Force – a group of non-profits, food service organizations, concerned community members, and local school officials partnering to end hunger in their community. So far, this group has succeeded in adding 2 new Summer Meals sites to Hamden, securing a new mobile food pantry site in Hamden, and collecting 260 community surveys among many other accomplishments.

Check out some more photos from the Summit.
Photos by Johnathon Henninger Photography courtesy of United Way of Greater New Haven.