Above: Zero Hunger Interns during a break at advocacy training at the office of Bread for the World in Washington, D.C.
The Hunger Center, Bread for the World, and Food Recovery Network collaborated for a joint training and Capitol Hill advocacy day on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19. The event brought together two dozen young adults, including the 6th class of Zero Hunger Interns, to Washington, D.C., to discuss their experiences with food insecurity at their college campuses with their elected officials and staff.
“Given the economic challenges facing Gen Z adults—from affordable housing and student loan dept to underemployment and food insecurity—they cannot afford to be absent from the Halls of Congress where crucial decisions are being made about their lives and future,” said executive director Shannon Maynard. “We want to make sure their voices are amplified when it comes to the economic and food insecurity they are experiencing right now.”
The training session including social media and advocacy, introduction to the Farm Bill, and tips for connection with elected leaders. Speakers included congressional staff, professional advocates and communicators, and policy analysts.
The generation that currently makes up the bulk of undergraduate students—born sometime in the late 1990s to early 2000s and commonly referred to as “Gen Z”—are completing their studies and starting their careers while navigating exceptionally high rates of food insecurity. A recent Purdue University study found that Gen Z households were twice as likely to experience food insecurity in the first half of 2022 compared to Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers.
The Hunger Center is proud to partner with Bread for the World to amplify the voices of students and rising leaders and equip them with the resources and opportunities to share their stories with decision-makers on the national stage.