Giving Compass' Take:

· Independent Sector talks with Bernadette Downey, Associate Director of Government Relations and Advocacy at Share Our Strength, about their advocacy work to end child hunger.

· How is Share Our Strength working to change policy to provide children with food security? Has there been any progress? How can donors help with these efforts?

· Here's more on solving the hunger problem in America's cities.

As a home for nonprofits, foundations, and corporate allies engaged in every kind of charitable endeavor, Independent Sector is proud to have a long history of working on public policy issues that impact nonprofits across the board. We are also fortunate that our efforts often entail working closely with many of our own members that are engaged in the public policy arena. One such member, Share Our Strength, does some extraordinary advocacy work in service of their mission: ending child hunger. To learn about this aspect of their work, we spoke with Bernadette Downey, who leads the organization’s government relations and advocacy work.

Q: What are your organization’s goals in the public policy arena?

BD: Through our work on the No Kid Hungry campaign, my team urges elected or appointed officials to adopt policies that will improve access to the federal child nutrition programs. One in six kids in the US faces hunger, but we have the resources and programs to ensure those kids get three meals a day, especially through existing federal nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), School Breakfast, and Summer Meals. We work with policymakers to remove bureaucratic barriers keeping kids from participating and ensure that state laws reflect the best practices that our research has identified.

We’ve seen some of the most transformative change come when the highest need schools serve breakfast as part of the school day, just like lunch, with models like Breakfast in the Classroom. Whether it is a sweeping change or a small adjustment, our ultimate goal is that more eligible kids have the food they need to grow up as part of a strong and healthy nation.

Read the full article about fighting hunger with policy by Lindsay Marcal and Micah Nelson at Independent Sector.