Catch up here!
Hey there friends! While I’m recovering from my Ryan Lochte going away party, my sweet friend Sarah is stepping in today! Make sure you visit her!
Hi friends and readers of Rachel! My name is Sarah and I blog over at From the Desk. I'm a Canadian living in Texas by way of CA, PA, and a couple of other places. I'm married to a military man, a bit of a crazy cat lady, and currently working on my masters of social work degree at Baylor University. I recently returned from a school trip to Washington, DC, to learn about hunger in America and advocate on behalf of the nearly 50 million food insecure Americans. Rachel's prompt of "Things I've Learned" was a perfect opportunity to reflect on the trip and write a little about what I learned during those ten days in the capitol, as well as what I hope to learn moving forward. And to share with you, of course! :)
When you hear the same thing over and over, you start to notice, right? During our trip to DC what I heard over and over, was that collaboration was not only essential but the key to solving America's food insecurity problem. I heard this from faith and non-faith based organizations, the USDA, food banks and feeding sites, people that work at the capitol, and across party lines (I counted the word "collaboration" or something similar in my notes at least 18 times!).
In fact, the Texas Hunger Initiative (the organization I work for) was formed at least partly around the idea that all the many different community, state, and federal facets working to end hunger should be working together to serve the country more efficiently. Even if different groups are doing good work on their own, that good will only be stronger if people talk to one another, listen to one another, if folks came to the table to sit together, and work. At an event held at AEI, which the graduate students and a couple team leaders attended, Republican Representative from Virginia, Frank Wolf spoke about the need for Republicans and Democrats to actually come together around the idea that everyone claims to support- ending hunger in America. He said that we need to form a coalition, and get it done. This event was on a Thursday, so, getting towards the latter half of the trip, and at this point I had been hearing this collaboration message over and over. I tried to form a question, to possibly ask the panel, but I think I was trying to complicate a question that was actually quite simple: "how?"
Thanks so much Sarah!