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The Power of Bread Teams

Local Miami Team Makes a Big Impact

June 2012

There is a local anti-hunger movement blossoming in Miami, FL, and I recently had the chance to interview Catherine Hibbitt—a member of the growing Miami-Dade Bread for the World Team.

Bread Teams are groups of local activists working together to build grassroots support at the local level to urge our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. The Miami-Dade Bread Team is one of many new Bread Teams across the country. Catherine shared her thoughts on Bread Team involvement and described some of the unique qualities of the team in Miami.

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Kelsey Lalman: Why did you choose to be involved in the Bread Team?

Catherine Hibbitt: I attended the National Gathering last year in DC. I thought, “Wow, this is where I belong as far as advocacy and lobbying are concerned.” I was pleasantly shocked that something like this existed. When I came back [to Florida] I wanted to get involved and knew they were starting a Miami-Dade group. It was a way to get involved locally. It’s one thing to go to DC and lobby for a few days, but another to take action in your local community.

What are the goals of the Miami Bread Team?
To get as many people exposed to Bread for the World and effective hunger advocacy in the Miami-Dade county area. It’s not just saying, “Hey, you should know about hunger advocacy,” but it’s about providing a way for citizens to be involved—to write letters and contact legislators. I see this as a very attainable goal.

What are the challenges of being a Bread Team?
Because Miami-Dade is a gigantic area, it has been great to break up the work. Some people know people in “this area,” and some know people “over here.” It really defines grassroots, but it hasn’t been easy to break up areas and have [cohesive] leadership.

What unique qualities do you see in the Miami team?
Hunger issues are reflected in the diversity and population in Miami. The focus on foreign aid it resonates here very well because there are people from many different countries. They have often benefitted from foreign aid. They have a very real connection with the idea of foreign assistance and realize that a lot of people, including their families, rely on these programs. It’s a very personal connection.

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My conversation with Catherine revealed to me that Bread Teams are as unique as the people and places that create them. But what weaves the teams’ efforts together is that they are each committed to anti-hunger advocacy. Through outreach, Offering of Letters events, visits to local congressional offices, and other team actions, Bread Teams are growing the movement to end hunger in a big way.

To learn more about starting or joining a Bread Team in your local community, contact your regional organizer.

Kelsey Lalman is an organizing intern at Bread for the World.

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