This week, our Advocacy Team participated in the annual Illinois State Lobby Day to End Hunger! We met (virtually) with local legislators across our service area to talk about how we can solve hunger together in Northern Illinois.
Our elected officials can have a major impact on hunger in our communities – everything from supporting legislation that works to eliminate hunger and inequity, to serving with us, and sharing resources about food assistance to their constituents – their support is critical in the fight to end hunger. Our Food Bank Advocacy Team works to educate, advocate, invite, and share resources with our legislators so that we can work together to fill the plates of our neighbors. Read more about how we engage with our elected officials – at the Illinois state level, and at every level of government:
A major part of the Food Bank advocacy work is education. We want our elected officials to know what hunger looks like in our community – at our distributions, throughout our network of partner feeding sites, and from our neighbors – so that they can most effectively work to eliminate hunger. The Food Bank shares data and information on the need in our communities, and communicates about services and programs that have the greatest impact on our neighbors and network. By sharing the stories and raising the voices of our neighbors, our elected officials can better understand the impact of hunger on individuals and families in our community. Because our legislators are focused on SO many local issues, we are here as a resource to make sure hunger-relief and related issues stay top of mind for our elected officials. Our partnership helps ensure legislators have the knowledge and resources they need to help solve hunger.
Our Food Bank Advocacy Team also serves as the experts on policies and programs that will help solve hunger in our community. Whether it’s SNAP, child nutrition, agriculture, food waste, poverty alleviation, budget and appropriations, or one of the MANY other issue areas that can impact our neighbors – our team is sure to advocate for the support and strengthening of programs and policies that will help our neighbors access the food they need to thrive. We communicate with our elected officials on our policy priorities and help provide information that will make hunger-relief programs, rules, and regulations the most efficient, effective, and equitable for ALL of our neighbors.
We want our elected officials to join us! Whether they volunteer at a distribution, visit one of our four centers, or tour a local food pantry or soup kitchen, getting involved is an impactful way for elected officials to fight hunger. Seeing our sites can help legislators better understand hunger-relief operations within our community, and it is invaluable to directly hear the voices and stories of our neighbors, volunteers, staff, and partners. By visiting or volunteering with us, elected officials can become more passionate about working to end hunger, especially at the legislative level.
It is critically important to our team that our legislators know the Food Bank is here as a resource for their constituents. Because our legislators work closely in their community, they are able to share information about groceries and services with neighbors in need or other community partners. It’s as easy as distributing flyers, sharing social media posts, or encouraging neighbors to call our hotline or visit our website! By getting the word out about the Food Bank’s services, our elected officials and our Food Bank can work together to get groceries to ALL of our neighbors in need.
Thank you to our elected officials – what you do matters, and we’re grateful to have such involved and dedicated partners to help solve hunger Northern Illinois! To learn more about our advocacy work, and find ways that YOU can get involved, visit SolveHungerToday.org/Advocate