A delegation from Stop Hunger Now worked to develop their advocacy skills at the recent RESULTS Conference in Washington, D.C.–a meeting of advocates from 32 countries who are committed to ending poverty. Danielle McCrary, Stop Hunger Now Assistant Program Manager, and Jeffrey Mizell, Stop Hunger Now Program Manager, shared their advocacy insights from the Conference.
What drew you to the Results conference?
McCrary: Advocacy through policy is a direct line to enacting change. Becoming a fellow with RESULTS seemed like the ideal way for me to gain the advocacy skills needed to make a difference in the fight against world hunger.
Mizell: I was drawn to the conference because of its dedication to grassroots advocacy around hunger and global poverty. It is clear that Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program and investment in community development are essential in ending global poverty and hunger; however, they must go hand-in-hand with the government action and legislation.
What role do you see advocacy playing in the fight to end hunger?
McCrary: Advocacy is a key piece to ending world hunger. We need not only a movement of people, but also a movement of key people: people who have a direct line and the ability to create change.
Mizell: It is clear through the passage and the success of collaborative efforts to fight poverty such as the Global Food Security Act that government action will be imperative to keep up–and speed up–our current downward trajectory in global poverty.
What was your biggest takeaway from the conference that relates to Stop Hunger Now’s work?
McCrary: Conference speaker Tavis Smiley said, “The people are ready to be rallied.” At Stop Hunger Now, we work to share our passion and efforts to end world hunger in hopes that people will join our movement. A new goal of mine is to create hunger champions.
Mizell: Any person can become part of the movement to end hunger. At Stop Hunger Now, we interact with thousands of volunteers that have a demonstrable dedication to ending hunger. We can influence a new generation of advocates for global poverty legislation.
What can Stop Hunger Now volunteers and advocates do to make a difference?
McCrary: By showing members of Congress that their constituents care about this issue, they will rally behind the cause. There is power in numbers, and we can show each representative that people truly care who are giving their own money and raising funds throughout their community to support this mission. That’s powerful.
Mizell: Volunteering with Stop Hunger Now is a tangible activity that teaches people about global hunger as they package meals that will directly affect the lives of people around the world. One of the most important things that people can do is to become advocates and share what they have learned with others. Writing letters, calling elected officials and educating friends and neighbors are important ways to fight world hunger going forward.