Strong, Beautiful Voices from the Berkshires

Bio pic 3 color udjusted

Sen. Ben Downing addresses the group in the State House

It’s not every day that vans full of advocates pull up to MPHA’s office in downtown Boston. But that’s exactly what happened this September. Over the summer MPHA established a relationship with the relatively new coalition, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO), and learned that we share two top priorities—improving food and transportation access for people in the Berkshires.

At the time we met, BIO had already made arrangements with their Senator Ben Downing to have a week-long photo exhibit about food insecurity in the Berkshires in the State House in September. They were also planning to take a field trip to Boston to see the exhibit first-hand. MPHA offered to serve as “home-base” for the visitors and we collaborated to make their visit a strategic advocacy effort. This included: 1) getting a letter to the editor published in the Berkshire Eagle before their visit to Beacon Hill; 2) delivering invitations to the photo exhibit to all the senators and representatives in the State House; and 3) crafting their message to thank their electeds for increasing funding for MA Emergency Food Assistance Program, and also to request their future support to fund the MA Food Trust.

We thought there might be 8 to 10 people in the group but BIO brought 28 people (!) for their Hunger Action Day at the State House. Needless to say, MPHA was thrilled to be part of this passionate effort.

Learn more about BIO’s work at MPHA’s Annual Meeting on 11/13/15 in Worcester.