In late February nearly 1,500 anti-hunger advocates will gather in D.C. for two days of networking opportunities and content-rich workshops, followed by a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Hear from five attendees about their experiences in years past and share your excitement on social with the hashtag #hungerpc18!
Why do you attend the Conference?
“I attend the conference for a number of reasons — to get up-to-date information on what is happening in Congress and how it will impact the programs that are important to our constituency; to learn about programming and advocacy around the country; to pick up ideas that I can incorporate into my work.” – Sue Berkowitz, Director, South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
“It is a chance to rejuvenate and be with a group of people who are make me braver and reenergized to keep fighting.” – Gina Cornia, Executive Director, Utahns Against Hunger
“I’ve been attending this conference for years and still love it every time! Every year I walk away with pages of notes on policy updates and ideas for advocacy strategies. But the best part is walking away with renewed motivation and energy. It is always a much-needed reminder of how many amazing people and organizations are working for the same cause.” – Lorianne Burhop, Chief Policy Officer, Montana Food Bank Network
How has attending the Conference improved your advocacy?
“Over the years, there has been very concrete skill building and I’m thinking of the communications skills where we learned how to ‘pivot’ a policy discussion and maintain control of the discussion–I have used that many, many times in my advocacy work. More recently, the timely information on the immigration climate and how to create safe spaces in our work has been excellent.” – Kathy Gardner, Founding Director, Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force
“Having the most recent information from the federal level and hearing about what advocacy is working in other states is both inspiring and empowering and brings renewed energy to our own advocacy efforts.” – Shannon Amos, Director, Afterschool Nutrition & Education, Children’s Hunger Alliance
What is your favorite part of the Conference?
“It is spending time discussing the challenges, triumphs and opportunities with other advocates. Some of the people I admire most are doing anti-hunger advocacy and the FRAC & Feeding America Policy Conference is one time of year where I can spend time with them, learn from them and have them inspire me — this doesn’t only include state advocates but the FRAC staff as well.” – Gina Cornia
“I love that as part of the Western Region Anti-Hunger Consortium, we gather during the conference and it strengthens that regional advocacy when returning home to Idaho and the Western Region.” – Kathy Gardner
“I really appreciate the fact that the conference leads up to Hill visits. The information shared at the conference is important for work back home as well, but I like that there is a clear, important action to take immediately following the conference. Plus, it is pretty cool to spend two days with everyone getting ready, then all storming the Hill together on Tuesday!” – Lorianne Burhop
Any advice for first-time attendees?
“Introduce yourself to as many people as possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions! I have met some fantastic people that have become great resources for my own program as well as sounding boards for challenges.” – Shannon Amos
“Really examine the agenda and look to see what sessions are compatible with your work. Meet with people outside of your state, there is a wealth of information and knowledge in this three day convening. Soak it up and know you are in for a wonderful experience.” – Sue Berkowitz