Amplifying Voices as a Catalyst for Change: The MFB Speakers Bureau | Maryland Food Bank
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Amplifying Voices as a Catalyst for Change: The MFB Speakers Bureau

While we’ve shared stories of hunger for years, for us to truly realize the full potential of MFB 3.0, the perspectives and experiences of Marylanders who struggle with food insecurity must play an even greater role.

That’s why we’re pleased to announce the MFB Speakers Bureau, which was created to strengthen communities by incorporating neighbor voices into our work and decision-making processes as an organization—everything from providing feedback on our feeding programs to statewide advocacy efforts.

We’re training the next generation of community activists, storytellers, and changemakers so that they have the resources to successfully advocate for the issues they care about.

These enthusiastic and dedicated participants are willing to share their personal experiences with people who have the power to affect change.

Speakers from our inaugural cohort have already started changing the narrative in Maryland. Jonelle Woodard, founder of a group called The Keepers, which rescues and re-distributes fresh produce and baked goods in Baltimore City, joined us for a briefing in Annapolis at the beginning of the 2023 General Assembly.

“I was honored to have the chance to share my perspective on why addressing food waste and food insecurity simultaneously is so beneficial to all Marylanders with our statewide elected officials; they are the ones with the real power to turn words into reality.”


Speaker, MFB Speakers Bureau

And during an Anne Arundel County Council meeting in late January, speaker Melissa Hadel had the opportunity to share her family’s challenges attempting to receive assistance and the many bureaucratic barriers they faced.

MFB speaker Melissa Hadel

“Having the chance to speak my truth in front of County Executive Steuart Pittman was liberating. I am unsure if he or anyone else realizes that there are so many Marylanders like myself who don’t make enough to pay all our bills and feed our families, but too much to qualify for any government benefits,” Melissa said.

We’re grateful to Jonelle and Melissa for adding their voices to a growing chorus of Marylanders who want to act and bring about change in our state.

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