It’s hard to believe that I’ve been working at Second Harvest Food Bank for almost two years! When I first interviewed with Dave Krepcho for the position of Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, he asked me what hunger meant to me. I don’t think he was expecting my response. For me, hunger is personal.
When the recession hit in 2009, I was a senior in high school on the Treasure Coast. We had just sold our small business and I saw my family living paycheck to paycheck. My dad found odd jobs because there simply weren’t any jobs in our town, and he was our sole breadwinner. I got my first job at a retail store in the local mall working a few hours a week to just help out. But even then, it was still a struggle.
We needed help. Like many other families during the recession, we found some relief with SNAP, also known as food stamps. There’s often a stigma that asking for help is frowned upon and I am thankful my family asked for help. This experience shaped the way I see and understand hunger.
Once you overcome the misconception of who is hungry, you realize that people experiencing hunger look like people you encounter every day, your next-door neighbor, the young family that just moved in down the street, or a fellow commuter working one or two jobs and is underemployed.
Hunger looks like you and me. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this.
Over the last two years, you have spoken up for the most vulnerable in our community. Together, our efforts have:
- Achieved Feeding America’s Advocacy Hall of Fame for two consecutive years
- Sent 120 comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on proposed changes to SNAP
- Mobilized advocates to ensure full funding for safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill
Will you take the pledge to continue fighting hunger in Central Florida? Your efforts give a voice to some of our most vulnerable neighbors.
Without you, the 53,000 Central Floridians who seek out food assistance every day to help feed themselves and their families will go unheard. Together, we will fight for the children, families, and seniors who experience food insecurity in our community.
Pledge to fight hunger today at www.feedhopenow.org/pledge.