Borough Hunger Task Force Initiative
The Borough Hunger Task Force Initiative was launched in June 2005 at the NYC Hunger Summit 2005 — the first-ever policy summit focused on strengthening the emergency food network's ability to organize and develop strategies for eliminating hunger in the long term.
As part of the initiative, task force meetings are held as an opportunity for food program representatives, government officials, community leaders and city residents to collaboratively develop strategies to address issues surrounding food poverty at the community level. The task forces are charged with helping emergency food programs focus on issues of unmet need in their communities, addressing funding concerns and working in partnership with local community and political leaders to move beyond food assistance and toward permanent solutions to hunger. Simultaneously, the task forces prioritize public education and collaboration with other local social-service programs so that each community can develop the ability to use all of its resources to address the poverty that causes hunger.
The initiative was developed in response to findings from the Food Bank's Hunger Safety Net 2004: Measuring Gaps in Food Assistance in New York City research report, which uncovered specific and varying hunger-related challenges throughout different communities and boroughs - indicating the need to strengthen community-based responses to hunger.
To date, the Food Bank has held three rounds of task force meetings, each round consisting of five meetings (one for each borough). Attendees include emergency food providers and participants, donors, media, elected and appointed government officials and other stakeholders. During the first round of meetings, each task force collaboratively developed borough-specific workplans to address hunger in their boroughs, which were published in the Borough Hunger Task Force Strategy Papers 2005. Key agenda items and meeting activities have included increasing program collaboration, identifying gaps in services, increasing funding, scheduling Food Stamp Program trainings, policy and research updates and reaching out to elected officials. Since the launch of the task forces, approximately 650 individuals have participated in this effort.
For more information on the Borough Hunger Task Force Initiative and upcoming task force meetings, please contact the Food Bank For New York City's Government Relations, Policy & Research division at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.566.7855.