Why Advocacy Matters

Food insecurity is a complex and multi-faceted issue that requires a multipronged approach. While Northern Illinois Food Bank works to meet the immediate symptom of food insecurity – hunger – through our network of food pantries, soup kitchens and meal sites, we also collaborate with national, state and local partners to address the root causes of food insecurity, lift our neighbors up, and build healthy communities. An important aspect of this work is advocating for policies that can decrease the existence of food insecurity and strengthen our communities.

Along with the non-profit, charitable food assistance network – of which the Food Bank is a part of – federal and state nutrition programs are an integral part of solving hunger. Due to these multiple approaches and programs working in concert with each other, Northern Illinois Food Bank plays an important role in educating the public and our elected officials on the realities facing the neighbors we serve.

By participating in key legislation discussions and advocating for food security policies, we are able to give a voice to not only our organization, but to our agencies and, ultimately, our hungry neighbors. What we say and do can be the difference between having a meal on the table or not for families in Northern Illinois.

Our Advocacy Mission

In order to solve hunger in our service area, Northern Illinois Food Bank works with national, state and local partners to advocate for administrative and legislative policies that strengthen our communities and decrease instances of food insecurity.

Our Priorities

Advocacy Agenda:

Our Advocacy Agenda contains our current advocacy plan and practices. We use this agenda to guide our actions, focus our policy priorities, and build strong relationships with elected officials and organizations in our community. Our main priorities are to:

    • Advocate for strong budget policies that support social services, the nonprofit sector, and programs that are vital to solving hunger and those we serve.
    • Advocate for policies and administrative rules and regulations that support and strengthen nutrition programs in order to effectively reduce hunger.
Policy Areas:

There are many legislative issues that impact the work we do. Some of our top-line policy areas that impact our Food Bank, our agencies, and our neighbors include:

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Child Nutrition
    • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)


Use Your Voice

The number one way to join us in our advocacy efforts is by signing up for our Advocacy Alerts. These alerts will keep you up-to-date on our advocacy work, notify you when there are action steps you can take, and ultimately put us one step closer to solving hunger in our community. Check out our past alerts here, and sign up now to receive future advocacy alerts:

Here are some other important steps you can take to help make sure no one in our community goes hungry:

    • Know your elected officials. Research your elected officials and see what they are doing to solve hunger. Not sure who your current elected officials are? Find out now.
    • Register to vote. You have the power to elect legislators who are dedicated to eliminating hunger in your community. Make sure you register so your voice can be heard.
    • Complete the Census. The census provides critical information that will impact many programs we rely on. Getting an accurate account ensures we can advocate for all of our neighbors. You count, so make sure you get counted!
    • Share your story. Your legislators want to hear from you so that they can represent your interests. Have you been impacted by hunger, volunteered at a food bank or pantry, advocated for hunger-relief, or noticed the effects of hunger in friends, family, or neighbors? We want to hear from you, because sharing a story is one of the best ways to help advocate!