In a country where many people hope we are nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to keep in mind those who are still reeling from the effects of the ongoing dual public health and economic crises. This Hunger Action Month, we are reflecting on the work of our friends at Feeding America and how their work aligns with our Food Education Standards, particularly FES 7: We can advocate for food choices and changes that impact ourselves, our communities, and our world. This past April, our Food Education Fellows’ professional development session was in collaboration with a pair of representatives from Feeding America – Amirio Freeman, Advocacy Manager, and Corey Malone-Smolla, Policy Manager.
Feeding America has over 40 years of experience in hunger relief, action, and advocacy and is dedicated to helping alleviate the hunger crisis in America. With offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., the organization is a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 partner pantries and meal programs that can be found in every congressional district in the country. Alongside food distribution, Feeding America is also focused on advocating for support and funding for programs and policies aimed at fighting hunger. This means advocating for more funding for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or pushing for direct financial assistance for those at high risk of food insecurity.
Amirio and Corey shared with our Fellows the explosion of work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offered resources for engaging community members, fellow teachers, and students in advocacy work surrounding food insecurity. While Amirio and Corey feel that the pandemic has (and continues to) really shine a light on the hunger crisis in America, they are proud of how their food bank network rose to the challenges within the food system, including distribution regionally and in the last mile.
In the past, Feeding America has provided meals to more than 40 million people in America each year. That effort works in tandem with urging our neighbors to engage in anti-hunger advocacy through strategies such as providing resources for anyone to take action against hunger or identifying racism’s role in food insecurity. A huge thank you to Amirio and Corey for their talk with our team and Fellows as well as the whole team at Feeding America for the work they continue to do for this country.
To learn more about how you can be a part of Feeding America’s anti-hunger efforts, visit Feeding America Action.