Here at Chester County Food Bank, advocacy is central to our mission. Of course, action is also key to accomplishing our work to combat food insecurity in our communities, as well as carry out all of the many programs, educational outreach opportunities and direct distribution initiatives that we provide to our neighbors in need. But without advocacy (defined as “public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy”), we wouldn’t have a network of allies to help us spread the word about our work and share the important message about how hunger affects those living in our cities and towns.
Not only do we rely on our supporters to act as advocates, but we also practice advocacy. Ricky Eller, our advocacy coordinator, says that CCFB practices advocacy by committing to protect federal and state nutrition programs, which help to keep food on the tables of our neighbors currently experiencing or are at risk of food insecurity.
“Whether we are meeting with representatives in Harrisburg to champion funding for SFPP (State Food Purchase Program) or engaging with our partner agencies to ask their members of Congress to protect SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), our efforts are aimed at educating the community on these vitally important programs and the role they serve in Chester County,” he says. “Simply put, we can’t do it alone, and advocacy is just one way that we work to meet our mission of mobilizing our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.”