There was a moment in 2002 when the Anti-Hunger Action Committee discovered its identity as a group and purpose for existing. For months members had been meeting and talking about four specific things the state of Utah could do to eliminate bureaucratic hurdles that were preventing low income families from participating the Food Stamp Program. Members had sent a letter to the director of the program, collected signatures on a petition held two press conferences and been completely ignored.
One of the bureaucratic barriers they had been trying to draw attention to was the application for the program. It was twelve pages long and many of the questions were not intelligible to people who had not graduated from law school.
"I wish we could make the person responsible for this program fill out that application," said a dejected group member.
"What if we could?" said another group member.
That question led to an event called the Food Stamp Challenge. The idea for the challenge was loosely based on the Pepsi Challenge television commercials .
Challenge and addressed all four of AHAC's original issues within a year of taking office.
What the group learned from that event was that a small group of ordinary people can make a difference if they know what they want and came up with creative ways to get the attention of the people with the power to give them it. In the following years AHAC members build a giant paper mâché tooth that attended events highlighting the need for Medicaid dental services, crowded into the Governor's Office challenging him to veto a bad budget bill, took pictures of over 100 people with a sign supporting Medicaid expansion, produced t-shirts with slogans like "Basic healthcare is not a luxury" and generally managed to have a good time.
The final meeting of the Anti-Hunger Action Committee will take place on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. It will be a celebration and a potluck and it will take place from 5-7 PM at the Crossroads Urban Center downtown food pantry. Everyone who supports grassroots activism is welcome to come and celebrate the work of this unique group of people.
EMERGENCY FOOD PANTRY
347 South 400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
CROSSROADS THRIFT STORE
1385 West Indiana Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
CROSSROADS WESTSIDE FOOD PANTRY
1358 West Indiana Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
9:00AM - 5:00PM
Food only (no emergency services)
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Crossroads Urban Center