Community Voices: Telling Your Story of Nutrition Assistance
With Congress due to reauthorize child nutrition programs like WIC, school lunch and breakfast, summer meals and after school and child care feeding programs, we all have the opportunity to voice our concerns about threatening cuts to nutrition programs. One of the most powerful ways to protect these vital nutrition programs is by sharing compelling personal experiences about how these programs have helped you, your children, your community or your clients. These stories can move hearts and minds and create urgency to protect vital nutrition programs that ensure all of our children have access to the healthy food they need to grow and thrive.
CHN recently joined forces with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Witnesses to Hunger, Feeding America, and the Center for American Progress to launch a new campaign, Community Voices: Why Nutrition Matters. The goal of the campaign is to collect the experiences and stories of those impacted by nutrition assistance programs from across the country.
What can you do now? We urge you to join our Community Voices: Why Nutrition Matters Campaign and collect powerful and compelling experiences. When you share your stories, we will help connect you with opportunities to take action with the media and policymakers. You can join the campaign by taking these 3 steps:
- Identify a personal story you want to share.
- Write or record your story or interview someone else with a personal story.
- Register online and upload your story.
Why do nutrition assistance programs matter? SNAP/food stamps kept 4.9 million Americans – including 2.2 million children – out of poverty in 2011. The SNAP program also had an outstanding impact on the poorest Americans by reducing the number of Americans in extreme poverty by half. Students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores as well as improve their speed and memory on cognitive tests. In addition, students who eat school breakfast were less likely to be overweight, have improved nutrition, eat more fruits and veggies, and consume a wider variety of foods. WIC reduces fetal deaths and infant mortality, improves the health of nutritionally at-risk mothers, infants and children, and helps children get ready to start school. Children who get WIC benefits also demonstrate improved intellectual development.
If you missed our campaign launch webinar, you can still watch the recording and access the slides. You can also download the campaign toolkit, which includes practical tools and resources to develop your story, record it and write it.
For more information on nutrition assistance programs, we’ve included below some additional materials and resources:
- Coalition on Human Needs: You Say Potatoes: Congress Mashes It Up Over Mixed Food Packages
- Brookings: Hunger and the Important Role of SNAP as Part of the American Safety Net.
- Food Research and Action Center: Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report
- FRAC Infographic: Summer Nutrition Programs 3 Years of Growth
- Food Research and Action Center: SNAP Food Stamp Participation Data
- Witnesses to Hunger: Witnesses to Hunger 5 Year Anniversary
- Center for American Progress: Proposed Cuts to Nutrition Assistance Would Cost Jobs
- The Storytelling Nonprofit: Story Collection Tips: How to Coordinate Collecting Stories from Staff
We hope you’ll join us for this important campaign.