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Make a Commitment

Ideas Stakeholder Guides

Elected Official

Elected officials have the unique ability to take immediate action and make reducing childhood hunger a priority. Governors, Mayors, and other elected officials can bring communities together, create greater awareness to programs and resources, and connect residents to nutrition programs and services specifically targeted at childhood hunger. As trusted leaders, you can provide long-term plans that address the needs of your communities, establish new partnerships, and attract new funding to help you reach the goal of alleviating childhood hunger in your jurisdiction.

These are things you can start working on right away:

  • Governors’ Challenge to Ending Childhood Hunger. Governors can challenge Mayors and other local elected leaders in every city and county of their state to develop and implement an action plan to end childhood hunger. Plans should be specific, list clear goals, and include year-round action items with opportunities for community partners, faith-based organizations, school districts, and interested residents to get involved.

  • Develop a State Plan to build awareness and promote community partners. Governors can take a strong and active stand in ending childhood hunger by creating a state plan that includes coalition building and strengthening existing resources available in their state. Governors cannot end childhood hunger alone, but need to engage in a collaborative effort with private, non-profit, and faith-based organizations to meet the varying needs of the state. Governors’ can turn to our partner organization Share Our Strength for ideas on state partnerships and state plans.

  • Make a Commitment to End Childhood Hunger. Elected officials can lead by example and publically “Make a Commitment to End Childhood Hunger” on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s (USDA FNS) website. By doing so, elected officials can collaborate with the USDA FNS to jointly promote nutrition programs and resources available. In a collaborative effort with the USDA FNS, elected officials can coordinate joint community roundtables, conduct webinars, distribute outreach materials, and provide technical assistance to specific plans for addressing childhood hunger. All it takes is one click to start.

  • Create a website presence to discuss the issue. As an elected official, your leadership on this issue is imperative and providing and online venue to discuss the problems and solutions in your communities is critical. Elected officials can create a web presence on their current public website dedicated to Ending Childhood Hunger. You can learn more about food insecurity among children through our Background page on the USDA FNS website. You can also add our widget to your page.

  • Use various media outlets to expand reach and create awareness: The opportunity to reach the public through various media avenues presents itself daily for elected officials. Inclusively, many elected officials have blogs, twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages, radio and TV guest appearances, and newspaper editorials that provide the platform and the public reach to talk about childhood hunger. We encourage you to take every opportunity available to promote the campaign.

  • Create an Ending Childhood Hunger Awareness Day: Elected officials can make a proclamation to end childhood hunger and dedicate an official day to the cause. The “Become a Champion to End Hunger Day” in your jurisdiction can be part of your local health fair, state fair, or its own day and be a call to action for all residents, anti-hunger advocate groups, and community and faith-based organizations to show their support.

  • Create challenges to raise awareness in federal nutrition programs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) are key nutrition programs that can directly increase children’s awareness of healthy foods. SNAP, for example, has more than 40 million participants, nearly half of which are children. Elected officials can create challenges specific to each of these federally funded programs. For example, establishing a target increase of just 5% in each program can yield tremendous benefits for children and your local economy.

Last Modified:02/22/2013