(Photo by Julie Zeglen)
The most recently recorded poverty rate for Philadelphia is 25.8 percent. That number represents about 400,000 people who carry the burden of wondering where their next meal will come from.
Witnesses to Hunger doesn’t want those burdens to be carried secretly. The Center for Hunger-Free Communities program invites mothers and caregivers experiencing hunger and poverty to be their own advocates for policy change.
One result of that work is a traveling photo exhibit currently on display at West Philadelphia’s EAT Café, the nonprofit, pay-what-you-can restaurant also coordinated by the Center for Hunger-Free Communities.
The exhibit features photographs taken by Witnesses to Hunger program participants alongside quotes of theirs discussing the photos or their personal struggles to feed their families.
“What I know about the Witnesses to Hunger is that their photography has provided a powerful narrative that lets people know they are the experts when it comes to what life is like in poverty,” Witnesses to Hunger Program Manager Michelle Taylor told a rapt crowd at the exhibit’s opening on Tuesday evening.
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Program participants often speak publicly about their struggles with poverty and hunger — people such as Myra Young and Angela Sutton, who both gave remarks during the opening.
“I learned a long time ago that my pain has a purpose, and that purpose is to help each and every person that feels voiceless,” Sutton said. “My purpose is to help people understand that you do have a voice.”
The Witnesses to Hunger photo exhibit at EAT Café runs through March 20.
Witnesses to Hunger will also host a panel at the restaurant on Saturday, March 4, at 2 p.m. called “Gender, Race and Poverty in 2017: How Can Women of Color Harness Our Collective Power to Improve Our Communities?”
Speakers include Sutton, Signature Red CEO Jumoke Dada, Black Lives Matter Philadelphia founder Laniece Williams and Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Sofiya Ballin.-30-
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