In February, three members of Chester County Food Bank’s Advocacy Team attended the Anti-Hunger Policy Conference (AHPC) in Washington, DC. The yearly AHPC conference is a joint effort of the Food Research Action Center and Feeding America.
The conference speakers included Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware and the Honorable Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. Both implored attendees to think beyond the box, harness the power of our voices, and to remain vigilant about local and national legislation.
The conference itself was a rousing combination of workshops focusing on the various programs, community efforts, national initiatives and state and federal legislation which aim to address food insecurity. Topics included strategies to address child nutrition, hunger on college campuses and engaging seniors in food assistance programs.
In addition to the important work of directly connecting people to food, the root causes and effects of poverty were the main focus of the conference. This included ways to engage low-income citizens in voting, connecting the health care community with effective strategies to address food insecurity in their patients, understanding how combating racism and discrimination is essential in the fight against food insecurity, and much more.
On the last day of the conference, attendees spent a day on Capitol Hill, meeting with their local legislators. For the CCFB Advocacy Team, this included personal meetings with Senator Bob Casey, Senator Pat Toomey and Representative Chrissy Houlahan. They were all invited to spend some time with CCFB, learning more about our work so that they can carry that first-hand knowledge with them, but also to support anti-hunger legislation that will
After spending a day on “The Hill” touring the various legislative buildings and even viewing House and Senate floor debates from the public gallery, our resolve was strengthened. Advocating not only for our work, but for the community we serve, is our responsibility and our right. Our voices need to be heard, and if we speak together they will be heard.
We will continue our work and continue our efforts to address the root causes of poverty innovatively and equitably. If you’d like to join CCFB’s advocacy efforts and learn about issues that have a direct effect on you and your food insecure neighbors in Chester County, click here to receive updates and action alerts!