Rachel Sosnowchik and Maren Guptill from the Public Affairs Team present at the advocacy training session held at Second Harvest Heartland. The presentation shows a policy overview to “Invest in Hunger Free Schools.” A postcard on the table reads “It’s Time for Hunger-Free Schools.”

Advocacy Spotlight: Interview with Volunteer Ben Savin

This spring, Second Harvest Heartland hosted an advocacy training session where volunteers and employees came together to learn more about how to get involved in important food policy work.

After the sessions, we interviewed participants to gather feedback on what people learned. Here is an interview with Ben Savin, a CSFP and advocacy volunteer.

Quick Introduction: Who you are, what you do and what is your connection to Second Harvest Heartland?

My name is Ben Savin. I am a volunteer with Second Harvest Heartland. I initially became involved as a volunteer driver in the Senior Hunger Program, CSFP, because I wanted to make a difference and aid in supporting hunger relief in our community.

Why did you want to do this advocacy training? How did you hear about it?

I learned about the opportunity to become involved in advocacy for the Hunger Free Schools campaign to make school meals free for every Minnesota student through the Second Harvest Heartland volunteer newsletter. I knew it was something I wanted to become involved with. Research shows that schools that provide free meals to all students perform better across numerous metrics, and the time to act is now. This is one hugely impactful way we can support the youth of our community.

Why is child hunger important to you?

With so many challenges facing our community today, childhood hunger in Minnesota is one problem that I believe we have the resources to overcome—if people are willing to commit to the cause and do the work. I wanted to contribute in whatever way I could.

What did you learn at the trainings?

The trainings were informative and well structured. We learned about the basics of advocacy, the mission and importance of the Hunger Free Schools campaign, and accessible actionable next steps to support the campaign. Whether a seasoned community advocate or a first-timer, I think any attendee would find these sessions a good use of their time.

Would you recommend this to others?

I would absolutely recommend these trainings to anyone interested in learning more about advocacy, and how they can support change in their community. I look forward to attending future events.

Do you want to learn more about how you can advocate for the policies and programs that will bring meaningful solutions in the hunger fight? Join our advocacy list and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.