Year in Review
This year, the Center for Hunger-Free Communities continued to bring the country's attention toward the need for justice and a hunger-free society. From national appointments to Witnesses to Hunger exhibits, we sought to shape the national dialogue on hunger and poverty and ensure that those who have experienced economic hardship are leading the conversation.
Here are a few highlights from 2014:
January: Tianna Gaines-Turner, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, attended the State of the Union Address as a guest of Senator Bob Casey, Jr.
- Members of Witnesses to Hunger spoke out about the impact the cuts in the Farm Bill would have on their families.
- Mariana Chilton was appointed to the National Commission on Hunger by Senator Harry Reid.
- Juell Frazier and Quanda Burrell, Boston Witnesses to Hunger, visited Boston's City Hall and the Massachusetts State House to talk about their experiences with hunger and poverty.
March: Angela Sutton, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, spoke at an event hosted by the Atlantic to discuss reinventing the War on Poverty.
April: Witnesses to Hunger traveled to DC to hold an exhibit and discussion in the Rayburn House Office Building.
- Witnesses to Hunger from Boston held an exhibit in City Hall hosted by Mayor Walsh. In addition to the exhibit, the Witnesses participated in two panel discussions on housing and policies impacting mothers.
- The Philadelphia Daily News published a series on poverty that featured Mariana and members of Witnesses to Hunger.
- A new website focused on poverty, TalkPoverty.org, launched with the voices of Witnesses to Hunger being among the first posts. Sherita Mouzon, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, shared her experiences with trauma and Tangela Fredrick, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, shared her struggle to afford child care.
- Oxfam America released a map focused on the minimum wage that featured Joanna Cruz, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger.
- Jean Culver, Pennsylvania Witnesses to Hunger, shared her experience with programs that work to address hunger in the summer.
- Joanna Cruz, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, spoke at the "Inequality Begins at Birth" Conference where she connected with Senator Cory Booker.
July: Tianna Gaines-Turner, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, testified before the House Budget Committee, chaired by Congressman Paul Ryan, for a hearing on the War on Poverty.
August: Members of Witnesses to Hunger released their Recommendations on Ending Hunger and Poverty.
September: With the support of Congresswoman DeLauro and groups in Connecticut, Witnesses to Hunger launched a site to New Haven with an exhibit at City Hall.
October: Mariana Chilton and Angela Sutton, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, spoke on a panel hosted by Tavis Smiley about ending poverty in America.
November: Over 650 people contributed over 1,800 tweets on SNAP for the #snap4SNAP campaign.
December: The Center, in cooperation with Children's HealthWatch, released a new report that looks at the struggle working families face as they try to transition out of poverty. Emily Edwards, Philadelphia Witnesses to Hunger, and Mariana Chilton presented the report's findings at a Shared Prosperity Roundtable.
As we look back at 2014, we are grateful for the many opportunities our Center, staff, and the Witnesses had to contribute to the dialogue about poverty and hunger. We look forward to working with our partners in 2015 to keep moving the conversation forward and finding solutions to hunger and poverty that work for all families.