August 15, 2012
by Brett Weisel

Brett Weisel is our Director of Advocacy in our Washington DC office and wanted to share some thoughts as we enter this season of conventions as the Democrats and Republicans gear up toward election day.

As the 2012 elections kick-off in earnest with the Democratic and Republican conventions this September, it is important to remember the role our elected officials can play in helping us achieve our vision of a hunger-free America. Everyone can play a role, and because of the scope and reach of programs like SNAP (formerly known as food stamps)—which put food on the table for hungry Americans—our federal government plays a particularly important role.

The federal government is one of many partners in the fight against hunger, and it is uniquely positioned to help us advance our cause. We have a set of public policy issues that we work on, including fighting for funding for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), child hunger programs, and others. Our policy goals derived from our values as an organization and as a nation.

You may agree or disagree with the role the federal government should play in achieving these goals, but as the Director of Advocacy at Feeding America, I see access to food as access to opportunity. Our nation was built on the concept that everyone should be on a level playing field, that we all should have the opportunity to achieve the "American Dream." Ever think about how difficult it must be to achieve the American Dream if your first and foremost concern is how you're going to feed your children?

In my opinion, supporting federal anti-hunger programs isn't about giving a hand out. It's about providing help up. So that those in need can achieve more.

When people in our communities don't have enough food to get through the day, it costs us all. Hunger creates health problems. Children struggle to learn. Workers are less productive. Opportunities are lost.

So as you are thinking about who to cast your vote for this November, consider those families in your community struggling to get by, and the opportunities they lose because they are going to sleep with empty stomachs. Think about the opportunities we can create simply by ensuring hungry families have access to adequate, healthy food to get through their day. Then think about which candidates are willing to fight for those that are less fortunate and will create policies that will bring new opportunities for hungry Americans.

If you share our vision for a hunger-free America and would like to educate your elected officials about ways they can help, join the Hunger Action Center to learn more about how you can become an advocate in the fight against hunger.

Tags: Advocacy

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