Missoula Food Bank believes that food banking should not be a growth industry.
While the work we do in providing emergency food assistance is both necessary and important, tandem work in addressing the underlying issues of food insecurity and poverty is needed if we ever hope to have a food secure community. A charitable response to the growing number of people who do not have access to adequate nutrition is unsustainable.
Choosing to act as an advocate at Missoula Food Bank speaks to a greater desire to end hunger in the United States by cultivating a mindset shift at the leadership level of our community organizations, the policy level of our government, and the individual level in our neighborhoods to fight food insecurity by addressing the causal issues of hunger. Hunger and food insecurity are influenced by a number of factors, including poverty, high housing costs, healthcare, and low wages that cannot be addressed through emergency food resources alone. Advocates are able to look at the “bigger picture” and envision a future in which hunger is not a problem for our community while taking action to help this vision become a reality. Volunteer advocates are welcome and encouraged to participate in the ways that they would prefer, which might mean choosing a couple of activities from the list below.
- Write letters or emails to legislators
- Assist with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) applications
- Call legislators on National Action Days
- Program outreach, such as tabling with information on the SNAP and WIC programs
- Coordinate a phone tree for Call-In Days
- Lead discussions within the community
- Assist with Petition Drives
- Attend presentations by other community organizations to learn about causal issues of hunger
- Collect stories for advocacy related projects, such as Photovoice
- Participate in Hunger Tours
- Help draft messages and summarize important issues
- Support Missoula Food Bank advocacy campaigns
- Stay up to date with community resources, programs, and events that could be helpful to share with clients and other volunteers
- Keep Missoula Food Bank staff and advocates up to date on legislation and policy
- And more exciting opportunities!