There is a growing movement to ensure universal access to affordable, wholesome food for every West Virginian by working towards a Right to Food state constitutional amendment, by investing in local relational organizing and policy change, through massive statewide narrative shift and trauma-informed storytelling work to break the silent violence of hunger, and through intensive mentorship to uplift and support local food justice leaders with the lived experience of food insecurity.
Coming out of the 2020 WV Food for All Summit, American Friends Service Committee, The Food Justice Lab and Rattle the Windows began organizing around Delegate Danielle Walker’s introduction of House Joint Resolution 30 (HJR 30) to the West Virginia legislature.
Envisioned as a means to break the silent violence of hunger and encourage those with lived experience to share their stories, Voices of Hunger WV convened monthly public (virtual) meetings and engaged participants in conversation, pedagogy and action around advancing the Right to Food.
The narrative shift toward food as a human right has already begun to take root in different parts of West Virginia among anti-hunger activists, food system development practitioners, farmers and lawmakers.
In 2022, The Morgantown city council passed a municipal resolution for the Right to Food, and there are emergent initiatives in other cities and counties that may now follow suit.
During the 2023 legislative session:
The Governor acknowledged that food is a human right through a proclamation.
Our Charleston fellow and Food For All partners met the Speaker of the House of Delegates, where he agreed to reformulate a food insecurity work group.
We have expanded our network and educated citizens and legislators about the concept of the Right to Food and the need for systemic responses to food insecurity (not just more charity).
We held a hunger caucus meeting with a bipartisan group of legislators.
We re-introduced HJR 12 , the constitutional amendment for the RTF.