How You Can Fight Hunger Through Advocacy
JOIN HUNGER FREE AMERICA'S NONPARTISAN VOTER MOBILIZATION CAMPAIGN
This election cycle and beyond, our goal is to mobilize low-income individuals to vote. We believe that the more low-income Americans who vote, the more likely elected officials would be to enact the policies needed to eradicate poverty and hunger. Find out how to get involved.
According to a study done by Columbia School of Social Work assistant professor Robert Paul Hartley on behalf of the Poor People's Campaign, the top reasons that low-income individuals did not vote in the 2016 Presidential election included that they did not strongly identify with the candidate or campaign issues and they did not believe their vote would make a difference. Harley's study also found that in the 2016 Presidential election, the voting rate among low-income eligible voters was about 46 percent compared to over 67 percent for those with income above twice the federal poverty line.
We have just finished polling 5,114 low-income Americans to determine the most effective nonpartisan messages to increase voter registration and turnout among this group. We are currently recruiting volunteers to serve as nonpartisan "Precinct Captains" to work with partner organizations to conduct targeted voter outreach through Election Day. This includes door to door knocking (if COVID permits), literature drops, phone banking, and texting events. Sign up to become a volunteer and get out the vote!
ADVOCATE FOR A SECOND COVID-19 RELIEF BILL THAT WILL HELP ALLEVIATE HUNGER
Since the pandemic began in March, the number of food insecure individuals in the United States has risen from 37 million to 54 million. This includes nearly 14 million children. In order to ensure that people can afford to put food on the table during this difficult time, Hunger Free America is advocating for the following to be included in the next Covid-19 relief bill. These measures have been passed by the House of Representatives but have not been approved by the Senate.
- Boost SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits by 15 percent, which would boost the average SNAP benefit by only 20 cents per meal, from the current level of $1.34 per meal to $1.54 per meal.
Increase the minimum monthly SNAP benefit from the current level of $16 to $30.
Put on hold Trump Administration rules to slash SNAP.
Allow people to temporarily buy hot foods with SNAP at retail outlets that already accept SNAP.
Increase funding for WIC nutritional supplements for pregnant women and small children.
Increase funding for school meals departments within school districts.
ADVOCATE FOR THE HOPE ACT
Individuals who are eligible for public benefits including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) often have to submit multiple, duplicative applications to various government agencies in order to apply for assistance. The HOPE Act, introduced in January 2020 by U.S. Representative Joe Morelle and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, would establish pilot projects to allow applicants to use updated technology to apply for multiple benefits at once, saving them time in addition to providing better coordination between government agencies and nonprofit organizations assisting applicants. Learn more about the HOPE Act and read about the barriers low-income Americans face when they apply for public benefits in our recently-published Access Denied Report.
BECOME A DEDICATED HUNGER ADVOCATE
We need you! Hunger Free America is recruiting "Hunger Advocates" to conduct policy analysis and research across the country related to policies that impact hunger. Volunteers can dedicate as much or as little time as they would like, and will receive training and direction from our Director of Advocacy and Research. If you want to take the next step toward buildling a career in advocacy or research or if you want to dedicate your time and talents to the fight against hunger, we would love to have you join us as a hunger advocate. Sign up or find out more.
JOIN THE FUEL HIGHER ED CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE COLLEGE HUNGER
Hunger Free America is partnering with the Campus Hunger Project to tackle food insecurity on college campuses. A report from spring 2020 found that 38 percent of students at four-year institutions were food insecure, in addition to 44 percent of students at two-year institutions - rates far higher than the national average. In spite of increased demand for food assistance, full-time college students face barriers like the college SNAP rule that make it difficult to qualify for benefits. The pandemic has only exacerbated student hunger: Work-study programs that provide a path to SNAP eligibility have been suspended on many campuses, and the 20-hour-a-week work requirement is now harder for students to fulfill due to massive job loss among young adults. Help us fight campus hunger by advocating for reduced SNAP eligibility requirements for college students, and by breaking the myth that college students do not face hunger.
Reach out to your elected officials to advocate for anti-hunger policies and to thank them for their support of anti-hunger proposals.