Started in Philadelphia in 2008, Witnesses to Hunger® is building a movement partnering with the real experts on hunger – people who have experienced it firsthand. Through their photographs and stories, Witnesses advocate for their own families and others, seeking to create lasting changes on a local, state and national level.
All too often, policies and programs are created without the participation of the people who are most affected. Begun as a research study, Witnesses to Hunger worked to address that through the participation and action of those who know firsthand the experience of raising a child on a limited income. The members of Witnesses use digital cameras to frame the issues most important to them and to their children. Exhibiting their photographs to the public is only the first step in this dialogue. They are using these photographs and their life experiences to inform policymakers and make changes in their own communities. They are living testimony of the need for legislation to put an end to hunger and poverty.
The true experts on hunger and poverty are people who have experienced it. The Witnesses focus their lenses on their children, on their neighborhoods, on their daily grinds at work and on welfare. They are teachers with valuable lessons to impart who are actively making our democracy function as they call for systems change to break the cycle of poverty. Advocating on behalf of themselves and their children, Witnesses work through their own photography, testimony and expert advising. They offer solutions and demand public accountability.