Being an advocate doesn’t mean you have to quit your job, in fact advocacy is easier then most people know. Being an advocate simply requires that you use your voice to make a difference. Together we can get to the roots of hunger, but it’s going to require an active partnerships to do so. The first step in advocacy begins with education.
Understand the Basics of Hunger Issues
If you haven’t already, take a look at our Hunger page and at the reports listed on our Resources
Learn About Policies and Programs addressing hunger and poverty
There’s no need to spend precious time searching on the internet. Visit our pages on Federal and New York Policies and read the reports on our Resources page
Take Action : Call, e-mail or write your Federal Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, State Senators and State Representatives.Let our Legislators know what it is that concerns you. Legislators always appreciate hearing from, and being kept informed by, constituents – that’s you!
- Talk to the Representatives about hunger in your community. Contacting your representatives is an easy yet powerful way to make your voice heard. Find your state and federal representatives by clicking below.US SenateUS House of RepresentativesNY State SenateNY State Assembly
- Ask them not to cut the programs that address hunger, but also any programs that address the root causes of hunger.
- Urge them to support increased funding and increased awareness of the problem of poverty and hunger in New York– including the access to food stamps and other federal food programs.
- Tell them why this is important, if you have a story about your experience with hunger or poverty tell them. Be sure to share with them any programs that helped you.
- Make sure to thank him or her for their time.
Talk About Hunger
Talk to family, friends and even strangers about hunger and why they need to become an advocate and what you did and/or needed to become one. Educate your community and work locally to make change. Some way to make change right at home are:
- Write a letter to the editor in your local paper. One of the best ways to get your point across is to write a letter to the editor. Many people in your community read the letters and your letter has the potential to create awareness and real change! Letters to the Editor should be short and to the point. The letter does not have to relate to a story that was recently published in the paper, just relate to what is going on in your community. As a general rule, newspapers need your full name, address and phone number to ensure they can contact you.
- Start a food policy council .Food Policy Councils bring together diverse stakeholders to study a local food system and offer recommendations for policy change. Council members represent the full spectrum of food system activities: they are typically farmers, gardeners, chefs and restaurateurs, food processors and wholesalers, farm and food worker advocates, grocers, consumers, public health practitioners, anti-hunger and food security advocates and government representatives.
- Attend local events. Board of Education meetings, PTA’s/PTO’s meetings, local clubs and events like a fair, at a parade, or community events are all great places to talk to people about the hunger and poverty issues in New York! You can meet your elected public officials and tell them what’s on your mind. Build the buzz and get the attention that will bring much needed change to your area!
It may seem basic, but it’s critical that you exercise this right. When you vote for politicians who share your values about education, you’re making a difference.