A first person account of Youth Hunger on the Hill

Friday, June 10, 2022
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I’ve never been involved in advocacy before, but I’m now better equipped to do so.

Fayo Banjoko

Fayo Banjoko is an environmental sustainability professional from Edmonton, Alta. who cares deeply
about the climate crisis and food security.

While I was catching up on COP26, I found myself on the Canadian Foodgrains Bank page and saw the
Hunger on the Hill event, and I was fascinated by the advocacy focus.

It was a privilege to participate in the Hunger on the Hill online event in January. The sessions gave young adults a chance to learn more about the importance of advocacy to address the major challenges of hunger and climate change.

It was amazing to participate in the event with other likeminded young adults. I was able to connect with
Foodgrains Bank staff and collaborate with a group of thoughtful, committed people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds to gain a more holistic view of global food insecurity.

I appreciate what I learned during the four sessions, including an introduction to the work of the Foodgrains Bank, climate resilient food systems and Canadian government policy. The sessions also dealt with advocacy training, strategic messaging to decision makers and Canada’s role in improving food security for people around the world who experience hunger. I now know how to clearly communicate issues with elected officials and how to use social media to attract their attention.

Fayo Banjoko is better prepared to effectively advocate after the Hunger on the Hill training. Photo: Submitted

The Foodgrains Bank staff were thorough during the sessions, providing us with take home reading materials to enhance our understanding of the issues. I’ve never been involved in advocacy before, but I’m now better equipped to do so. I believe my understanding of what food security means has gained depth and breadth especially knowing the four pillars of food availability, food accessibility, food utility and food sustainability.

The most fulfilling part was the meetings over Zoom with two Members of Parliament. My team presented the issues and asked Canada to help support investments in resilient food systems for agriculture in the fight to end global hunger. The dialogue with the MPs was calm and respectful and they were curious to know more about the issues.

As someone who is incredibly passionate about ending global hunger, I would be honoured to be a part of future advocacy events held by Foodgrains Bank.

This article was published in the spring 2022 edition of Breaking Bread. To apply for Hunger on the Hill 2022, click here.

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