Second Harvest Food Bank has been honored as a member of Feeding America’s 2016 Advocacy Hall of Fame. Nearly 40 food banks across the country met the criteria which included completing activities in five different challenge areas that show our efforts at the federal, state and local levels to inform and communicate with our elected officials and community members about hunger issues.

Below are a few examples of our advocacy activities over the past year:

Challenge #1: Communicate with our local Members of Congress or their staff.

  • We participated in an open letter to Senate and House members representing California. We thanked them for their support of federal nutrition programs and urged them to strengthen and protect these programs against cuts or change in 2017 and beyond.
  • Our staff visited members of Congress on the Hill with a focus on gaining support for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).

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Challenge #2:  Engage your local media on policy issues.

Challenge # 3:  Ask grassroots supporters to act on a policy issue.

  • Our Hunger Action Month campaign asked supporters to take “selfies” that could be posted with messaging about building a hunger free community.

Challenge #4: Ask “grasstops” allies (i.e., individual influential community leaders such as board members, business owners, corporate partners, state and local elected officials) to act on policy issues.

  • We worked with Assembly Member Nora Campos over the summer to raise visibility of summer hunger and “Lunch at the Library” events.

  • As part of Hunger Action Month, we had local leaders and elected officials participate in our plate “unselfie” movement.

  • Staff participated in the California Association of Food Bank’s Legislative Day in Sacramento. Food banks throughout the state gathered to meet with their elected representatives.

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Challenge #5: Educate and/or mobilize local organizations (such as agriculture, education, health, and business institutions) specifically about policy issues.

  • We hosted the Hunger Action Summit held in partnership with Santa Clara University School of Business and Food and Agri-business Institute. The Summit focused on the intersection of education and nutrition programs. Educators, advocates, funders and community leaders in attendance were asked to take action in the community.

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Second Harvest Food Bank is honored to be included in the 2016 Hall of Fame for our hunger action work. Visit our Hunger Action Center to learn more about how you can get involved in fighting hunger in our community!