In collaboration with NJAHC partner agencies across the state, participants were recruited and trained to be NJSOH photographers/advocates. Each participant was given a camera and asked to document through the lenses what hunger meant to them in their everyday lives. Participants in the program ranged in age, race, gender, and lived in different regions of the state. Over the course of the year, NJSOH photographers/advocates had their images featured in exhibits throughout the state; spoke at press events and a statewide poverty conference; met with federal, state and local elected officials; and testified at a state budget hearing. The NJ Soul of Hunger is a complement to the advocacy work of the NJ Anti-Hunger Coalition, promoting and supporting NJAHC’s anti-hunger policy and programmatic recommendations to address the issue.
Several of the NJSOH photographers have emerged as outspoken advocates on the issues of hunger and poverty and their voices have had a major impact on how the public and policy makers understand these problems and their potential solutions. NJSOH photographers/advocates who participated in the project have expressed that it has been a positive, empowering experience for them. Photographers were connected with resources when needed (such as SNAP application assistance) and a few of the photographers were offered additional help specific to their needs as a result of the exhibits.
The NJ Soul of Hunger project is advocacy in action. For a calendar of events and more information visit our NJ Soul of Hunger page.