“Witnesses to Hunger,” a groundbreaking project featuring the voices and photography of parents and caregivers who have experienced hunger and poverty first-hand, is returning to the nation’s capital on April 3 and 4.
“In this 50th anniversary year of America’s War on Poverty, families are still struggling to get by,” said Mariana Chilton, PhD, an associate professor and director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University School of Public Health, and founder of Witnesses to Hunger. “But too many important decisions today still fail to include the perspectives and knowledge of people who have experienced poverty and food insecurity.”
Chilton started the “Witnesses to Hunger” program in Philadelphia in 2008 to bring these true experts into the conversation. The program equips parents and caregivers of young children with digital cameras to document and describe their experiences with hunger and poverty. Witnesses were originally participants in a community-based participatory research program, and, increasingly, are advocates for improving policies and programs that affect families living in poverty. Through their photos and personal testimony, the Witnesses spark dialogue, engage and inform policy makers and inspire change.
After beginning in Philadelphia, the Witnesses to Hunger program has expanded to multiple sites, including Boston, Baltimore and Camden, N.J., with more than 80 participants in total. A new site in Northern California is under development.
Washington, D.C. Event Details
On April 3 at 5 p.m., members of “Witnesses to Hunger” and members of the U.S. Congress will together hold “Poverty in America: A Panel Discussion on the Social and Economic Issues Affecting Americans Today” at the Rayburn House Office Building in B-369 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
On April 4, an exhibit of “Witnesses to Hunger” photos will be on display in the building’s Rayburn Foyer from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A breakfast reception with Witnesses to Hunger will be held at 9 a.m. Witnesses will be available throughout the exhibit to speak with those in attendance about their photographs and experiences.
Both events are free and open to the public, but RSVP is encouraged: