Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Hub takes a bite of the Big Apple! - WhyHunger

As a part of Why Hunger’s Nourishing Connections Community Learning Project, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard (MHC) is engaged in a peer to peer learning experience with Neighbor’s Together (NT), a Brooklyn emergency food provider with a mission to alleviate poverty and hunger.   This past week, MHC staff Stephanie Solomon and Brandon Shurr visited with Neighbors Together for an in-depth look at their innovative advocacy work.
Beyond offering hot meals, NT has caseworkers on site to build community connections to available resources as well as community organizing around neighborhood issues of poverty and hunger.  MHC’s visit came just in time for us to attend a member meeting with discussions about New York state legislation that would potentially affect NT members.  They were preparing for NT’s annual Lobby Day, coming up in March, when members and staff head to Albany to advocate around issues of poverty and hunger.   We were extremely impressed by the cohesion of the community, and the strong voices involved in the member meeting.
We used the time with Neighbors Together to learn more about their membership model, and specifically, how they create space for members to engage in advocacy.  We also took time to learn about NT’s Leadership Development Series, which is an intensive leadership training focused on equipping participants with the knowledge and communication skills needed for community organizing.  Our visit with Neighbors Together fortified us with the background and inspiration needed to organize back in Bloomington.
In talks with NT back in August, MHC was inspired to begin our own community meetings, which we now offer monthly, to create a space for Hub community members to come together and discuss important pantry issues.  We call them our Hub Family Meetings, and already they have been a space where the Mother Hubbard’s community can come together and come up for solutions that make our programs more inclusive and in line with our vision and values.
While in New York City, we had the opportunity to visit two additional community-based organizations, the Brooklyn Food Coalition and the New York Common Pantry.  We were blown away by the success the Brooklyn Food Coalition had in advocating for changes in the nutrition quality of school food, and the focus on nutritional standards in the New York Common Pantry.  Our whirlwind week of visiting with innovative players in the New York food justice movement brought new vigor to our work with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard.

No comments:

Post a Comment