The Summit, held in Washington, D.C., is an Extension of the Elevating Voices to End Hunger Together Initiative and is for, and by, Individuals who have felt the Impact of Hunger
CHICAGO, July 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief network, is hosting its inaugural Elevating Voices: Power Summit in Washington, D.C. on July 12 and 13 developed for and by neighbors with lived experience of food insecurity. Nearly 100 neighbors will connect with one another and key federal decision-makers to discuss what people facing hunger in the U.S. need to thrive, including the passage of a strong, bipartisan 2023 Farm Bill that helps people put food on the table.
"The Elevating Voices: Power Summit stemmed from the desire to take all of the things we have learned from our listening sessions with neighbors and put it into action in a creative and innovative way," said Barbie Izquierdo, director of advocacy and neighbor engagement for Feeding America. "We wanted to invite neighbors to lead and co-create a summit that was intended to lift their voices and needs along with their talents and expertise."
Feeding America collaborated with the Elevating Voices: Power Summit advisory committee, made up of neighbors with lived experience, to incorporate the insight, wisdom, and desires of neighbors into the summit. The committee members shared the needs of the neighbors' communities, what they looked for in sessions, and which key decision-makers they wanted to invite so they could feel seen and heard, while communicating in their own voices.
Erica Astacio, advisory committee member, said, "nothing for us, without us. We deserve a seat at the table, and when that doesn't happen, we need to create our own table." Kimberly Hart, a fellow advisory committee member, also shared, "if not now, then when? If not us, then who?"
The Power Summit is an extension of Feeding America's effort to bring people with lived experience of food insecurity to the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in 2022. The summit is also a crucial component of the organization's ongoing initiative to engage with and amplify the experiences and expertise of neighbors.
Feeding America recognizes that the only way to end hunger is to listen to and center the individuals who have felt its impacts. To that end, Feeding America's initiative to center the voices of neighbors is made up of the Power Summit and the Elevating Voices to End Hunger Together: Insights Report —a yearly, nationally representative snapshot of the experiences, concerns and ideas of people in the U.S. with lived experience of food insecurity.
In the inaugural report and survey, Feeding America listened to and gathered anti-hunger policy recommendations, informed by people facing hunger, that were grounded in prioritizing dignity, increasing access, expanding opportunity and improving health. The second report, to be published on Hunger Action Day, September 15, 2023, will continue the work of lifting up neighbor voices that envision strong communities where everyone can access the food and resources they need to thrive.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. As a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 agency partners, including food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.2 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
SOURCE Feeding America