June Advocacy Landscape

Welcome to the June Advocacy Landscape blog post. This month, BFN participated in a listening session for the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Health, and Nutrition (link). We also welcomed a summer intern from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC-Berkeley to help us optimize the balance between data and dignity in our onsite pantry.

White House Conference

The White House Conference on Hunger, Health, and Nutrition will take place in September of this year. The first (and last) conference was held in 1969, which means the 2022 conference holds tremendous potential to reconsider food policy in our current day and age. To prepare for the conference, the White House is organizing a series of listening sessions; BFN attended one for organizations in the Western US. One idea we shared was to bolster mid-size distribution organizations like BFN. We are a conduit between the larger Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) and smaller agencies in north county, for whom it is easier to receive food from us rather than to drive to the food bank. This redistribution organization (RDO) model is common in the Feeding America network, but it typically is only used in remote, rural areas. As the first urban RDO in the country, BFN believes hunger relief landscapes would benefit from having more midsize actors.

Julia Rosales, graduate student intern

We are pleased to have begun working with Julia Rosales from the Goldman School. She is pursuing her master’s in public policy, and previously conducted research with the Santa Barbara Food Bank as an economics undergrad at UC-Santa Barbara. While at BFN, Julia will apply her public policy training to assess data collection in our distribution services. We collect as little data as possible from clients to keep our services inclusive, and while this commitment has driven our dramatic expansion over the last two years, sustaining that output requires data-informed decision-making and storytelling. We are excited to work with Julia as we navigate this evolution in our data management while maintaining our commitment to client dignity and inclusion.