Advocacy at MANNA
MANNA’s mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger, and an important part of this mission is advocating for those living in and experiencing the effects of poverty.
As a non-partisan organization dedicated to sharing information about the issues affecting the people we serve together, MANNA does not endorse political parties or candidates. We simply ask people to encourage our elected officials to make legislation that works for us all, and makes our region, our state, and our country stronger from the ground up.
Our Advocacy Work
Here are a few ways in which MANNA participates in advocacy work:
- Working with local, regional, state, and federal legislators.
- Working with Feeding America’s team on policy and legislation.
- Voter registration.
- Advocacy quarterly newsletter and alerts e-mail.
- Participation in local food policy councils.
National Advocacy with Feeding America
MANNA is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks, a national network connecting 200 food banks serving every single county in the U.S. with food relief and support. Members of this network also unite to advocate with elected officials at the federal level to inspire brave, lasting change to address the issues affecting the people we all serve collectively.
The Farm Bill
The Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that authorizes most federal policies governing food and agriculture programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). Approximately every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill. Reauthorization offers policy makers an opportunity to review the programs included in the legislation, consider programmatic changes, and address implementation barriers that may have come up since the previous reauthorization.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation helps ensure that children can have regular access to food through the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program. Every five years, Congress reviews the laws governing these programs through the reauthorization process. Reauthorization provides an opportunity to improve and strengthen these programs to better serve the nation’s children in pre-school, school-based, and out-of-school settings. The current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296), expired on Sept. 30, 2015. (Congress includes the funding levels to maintain the programs through the annual appropriations process, which allows the child nutrition programs that are not permanently authorized, such as the Summer Food Service Program, to continue operations when a reauthorization is delayed.)
MANNA joins Feeding America, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), and other food banks, pantries, schools, and individual food relief advocates in working together to educate and encourage elected officials to strengthen child nutrition programs, especially during out-of-school times when children are hard to reach. We invite you to join us and add your voice to the call for ensuring that children right here in WNC can grow, develop, and thrive with the help of these important national child nutrition actions.
MANNA’s leadership works to develop relationships with local, regional, and state elected representatives, to educate these individuals on the very real crisis of food insecurity in our region of North Carolina. Through our work with groups like Feeding the Carolinas, we join together to raise our collective voice to address the potential impacts of drafted legislation, provide information and support on proposed legislation, and bring to life the daily lived experience of the thousands of people we serve each day facing this hard reality.