Mar 21, 2017
by Dmitra Smith
Can one meal provide empowerment? The Sonoma County Junior Commission believes it can, and they are committed to fighting to end poverty and food insecurity in our own county. The Junior Commission, made up of Sonoma County high school students, is hosting its third year of the Fight to End Food Insecurity Project. The Poverty and Food Insecurity Committee have held two events this year. The next 24-Hour Fights will be on March 24 and April 22. So far the committee has raised enough funds to provide over 6,000 meals to aid low-income families in need of healthy and sustainable meals and food sources.
24-Hour Fight to End Food Insecurity
The first event held on Jan. 21 aimed to increase awareness about local food insecurity and raise money to fight for this human rights issue. In 2016, the Sonoma Hunger Index stated that about 70,000 families, or 36% of all households, missed some 34 million meals even with well-functioning assistance programs in place. The Junior Commission hopes to lower this figure by holding fundraisers and helping local food banks. During the 24-Hour Fight to End Food Insecurity, participants refrain from eating for 24 hours. They pledge a minimum of one dollar for every hour and donate it to the Junior Commission on Human Rights, which presents the funds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. The committee has also volunteered at the Redwood Gospel Mission, held fundraising dinners and presented to local Rotary Clubs for support. Each dollar donated will provide two meals to families that struggle to put food on the table.
Participants in the 24-Hour fundraiser have written to the Commission about the impact of their experiences.Catherine Liang, Chair of the Junior Commission says, “It really puts it into perspective even just abstaining from eating for a single day. I think it serves as an excellent reminder to us all to be grateful for such a basic right, and to remind us that we still have a lot of work to do.” Participants who cannot abstain from eating on their doctor’s medical advice are encouraged to donate in spirit. For more info and to sign up, visit socofoodinsecurityfight.org
The Junior Commission on Human Rights is a project of the Commission on Human Rights, an appointed advisory board to the County Board of Supervisors. The Junior Commission is intended to provide high school aged youth with the opportunity to participate in advocacy, take an active role in County government, provide education about human rights issues that impact their lives and empower youth to make a positive impact on their communities. For more information about the Junior Commission, visit the CHR website.