More than 50 advocates for the hungry in Connecticut gathered on March 28 at the Capitol in Hartford for Hungry For Change Action Day. The event was jointly sponsored by the Connecticut Food Bank, End Hunger Connecticut!, and Foodshare. The plan for the day was formulated at the Hungry For Change conference held last September in Hartford.
The advocates attending represented a cross-section of people from Food Bank member programs, health and nutrition organizations, faith communities, educational institutions, and human services providers.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen welcomed the advocates and reminded them of the importance of their work in protecting the programs that feed people in Connecticut.
Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski gave an update on the Connecticut legislative climate, highlighting the importance of defending against legislation that would reduce access to federally funded programs like SNAP that help more than 430,000 people in Connecticut.
End Hunger Connecticut! volunteer Jonathon Rodriguez provided an inspiring account of his personal experience with SNAP and other government assistance programs that have helped him to successfully raise his children, return to the workforce and to give back to his community.
Connecticut Food Bank CEO Bernie Beaudreau spoke about the effective partnership between food banks and government programs. The two approaches work together, but cuts to state or federal assistance would burden the charitable response of food banks and their member programs beyond their ability to meet needs.
End Hunger Connecticut! Executive Director Shannon Yearwood gave those in attendance an update on ways they could help to voice support for programs at the state and federal level.
Following the program, advocates completed cards expressing their support for programs that nourish Connecticut and visited their local representatives. Some took materials that they would use at their own agencies to share information and encourage further advocacy.
Thanks to Attorney General Jepsen for speaking at Hungry For Change Action Day. Thanks also to Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, State Senator Marilyn Moore, and State Representatives Gary Byron and Mike Demicco for attending the event. Thanks as well to staff members from Representatives Christie Carpino and Kurt Vail for attending the event.