Decisions made in Washington and Atlanta have a direct impact on the lives of our neighbors in need. Discussions of legislation often take place ‘in a vacuum’ so to speak. They are data-driven – and with good reason. We want all programs to be based on proven data and experience.
However, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the facts and figures and to lose sight of those who are affected by federal programs. Most lawmakers don’t get the opportunity to see firsthand the seniors, children, and veterans who are fed through the programs we operate in partnership with USDA. That’s where it’s up to all of us to make sure our elected officials see faces and not just figures.
Second Harvest of South Georgia takes an active role in advocacy work. We meet regularly with our state and federal delegations to relay our experiences in the field and express our opinions on legislation that affects hunger relief efforts. We also have them visit us at our food bank, on manna drops, and at our Kids Cafe sites to see how things work on the front lines. We help them put a face with the facts – to identify personally with these seemingly abstract numbers.
Advocacy isn’t lobbying. It’s educating anyone and everyone who will listen on the issue of hunger in South Georgia and in the US. It’s delineating truth from fiction on hunger relief work. There are varying levels of involvement in advocacy. It’s can be as easy as using your social media platforms to share information and awareness, but it can also be as our meetings in DC. We will be sending our advocacy updates on our Facebook page and via email. If you’d like to to be kept up to date on our advocacy work or help us speak up for our neighbors in need, sign up for our new Advocacy Update email here!