This past Thanksgiving Food Gatherers commemorated its 30th anniversary fighting hunger in Washtenaw County. In recognition of that milestone, the nonprofit is presenting a special advocacy and awareness event, titled "The State of Our Plate: Gathering Momentum in the Fight Against Hunger."
"It’s our intention to raise awareness of food insecurity in our community, and more importantly it’s an opportunity to connect with allies to help perfect our collective response to the issue," says Eileen Spring, Food Gatherers' president and CEO.
Many of Food Gatherers' 150 nonprofit partners will be represented at the public event, which will take place on April 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Washtenaw Community College.
Spring is particularly excited to have secured the participation of key policymakers, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon, and Michigan Medicine Community Health Services director Alfreda Rooks.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow and her staff have also been invited the event.
"Having Sen. Stabenow attend is very meaningful to us," says Spring. "She serves on the Senate agricultural committee that oversees the farm bill, which is a huge piece of where food security legislation originates from."
Event attendees will have the opportunity to learn about government policies and food security basics. A number of breakout sessions will allow guests to deepen their understanding of hunger's impact in the community and find out what they can do to make a difference.
Anyone who is interested in social issues and community issues is encouraged to attend.
"One in seven people are food insecure in Washtenaw County and that is untenable," Spring says. "We have the resources to change this, but to really move the dial we need to bring together more local elected officials and folks in the community who care deeply about social justice."
Admission includes lunch and is priced at $30 through April 8. Tickets purchased after this date are $40. More information and tickets are available here.
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Food Gatherers.