Friday, January 23, 2015

Reminder: It's Time to Become an Action Corps City Organizer!

Hello Everyone!

Let's talk about Action Corps: it is awesome. Period. No two ways about it. And luckily, it is once again that great time to join this amazing group of individuals as an Organizer!

Check out our page for more information about our locations in 16 different cities, the job description, and the application! And look below at what other Organizers have said about their experiences...

"This is leadership in practice. You can't just read a book on leadership. You have to put it into practice." --Jill Mizell, Researcher, New York

"Oxfam Action Corps has given me a ton of confidence... Gaining knowledge and being able to speak to people about the issues." --Amy L., Business Operations Analyst, Des Moines

"This has become one of the best parts of my life... I can't express enough how satisfying it is to be organizing with people who are just as committed and dependable and passionate. It is so great to have the support from the Oxfam America staff, and I've been really impressed by their accessibility, competency and friendliness." --Isaac E., Educator, New York City

Ready to join them? Apply to be an organizer or if you aren't ready yet, consider volunteering with any Action Corps in efforts to help Oxfam fight hunger and social injustices! Remember, Oxfam is here to Right the Wrong so come join us! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy World Food Day!: Kicking Off Six Weeks of Action

Autumn – especially in Vermont – is a time of beauty and celebration. It’s a time to watch our leaves change color, and to celebrate our always abundant harvests. Who doesn’t love their hot apple cider and their Thanksgiving spread?

This season, while we’re giving thanks for what we have and celebrating plenty, is perhaps the most important time to remember that poverty and food injustice leave millions without luxury, and even sustenance, every year.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We know that when we all come together, we can change the world, which is why this fall Oxfam is kicking off Six Weeks of Action Against Hunger.

Kicking it off, today we’re celebrating World Food Day, a day commemorating the founding of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization. This day celebrates efforts in the fight for food security, and brings awareness to issues in vital need of action.

This year, World Food Day is focusing on family farming. Here in Vermont, the Oxfam Action Corps are celebrating with a night at the Vermont Goat Collaborative in Colchester. This organization works with new Americans to raise and sell goats in the community – a relief for many who have suddenly found themselves in a country where, despite its importance elsewhere, goat meat is scarce. The project is an awesome example of how farming and food can bring people together.

We’ll be cozying up in the Goat Collaborative’s barn, sharing warm drinks, and watching Planet for Sale – a documentary about the corporate and government scramble for control of farmland, and what that could mean for family farmers across the globe. We’ll have a discussion afterwards, using the film as a springboard for what we can do, and how our action can help.

Join us tonight, and stay tuned for the next five weeks of action! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hitting the Sweet Spot

This diagram – one of our favorite images – is a great representation of who is responsible for change. While sometimes it seems like only the big players can have an impact, it’s so important to remember that each one of us is a huge force of potential impact!

It’s been a great summer for remembering that fact. In May, Oxfam and Behind the Brands launched a campaign asking Kellogg’s and General Mills – the two Big Ten brands with the worst scores on climate – to clean up their acts. Oxfam was responsible for launching the campaign, but it was thousands of individuals that kept it going. Every petition you signed and tweet you sent made a difference – the culmination of all of those little acts became a huge force of influence.

That little dark orange sliver of this diagram where people and business overlap is a huge part of our lives, and is the basis of every company’s existence. In that little slice is what we decide to buy every day. Do I want Frosted Flakes for breakfast, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Companies like Kellogg’s and General Mills know that if they’re not delivering something that’s important to us – from cereal that stays crunchy to responsible climate change policies – we might start making decisions they don’t like. When a message like “we love cornflakes, but hate bad climate practices” comes from a huge community voice, companies listen, and change happens.

We’re so excited to hear that both Kellogg’s and General Mills have made commitments this summer to improve their practices on climate change. They’re taking steps to monitor their supply chains more closely, increase transparency on emissions information, and call on their industry peers to do the same. We can keep enjoying our breakfasts, and feel good about what we accomplished in that orange sliver.

This past weekend, Oxfam and hundreds of thousands of others turned to a different sliver of the diagram – the dark purple zone where we meet the government. This week, world leaders from all corners of the globe are at the United Nations in New York to address the climate crisis. An unprecedented number of people congregated on Sunday for the People’s Climate March to make sure that their voices were heard by these powerful heads of state. And so far, it seems like they’re listening.

With Kellogg’s and General Mills, we've already seen the good that can be done when thousands of voices come together in action. Keep fighting and celebrate this fall as we collectively hit the sweet spot.

Want to know more? Read more about Oxfam and climate change here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Celebrate Women and Food on March 8: International Women's Day

This Saturday, March 8, is International Women’s Day, and we’re holding an event, featuring a Hunger Banquet and speakers, to celebrate Women and Food.

Starting at 7 pm at the First Congregational Church in Burlington, we’ll be hosting a panel discussion with Mary Starkey, Program Support Coordinator for Oxfam’s Regional Programs Department, and Helen Labum-Jordan, Trustee of the Vermont Foodbank, Author, and former Food Policy Administrator at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. Panelists will discuss the role of women in agriculture and food in creating or solving inequalities, both here in Vermont, and worldwide.

Following this discussion, we will invite you to partake in a Hunger Banquet. A Hunger Banquet is a unique experience where the place where you sit, and the meal that you eat, are determined by the luck of the draw—just as in real life, some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty. Food for the Hunger Banquet is generously donated by Boloco on Church Street.

If you are interested, space is limited, so please RSVP on eventbrite here and be sure to bring your friends!

We hope you will join us this Saturday!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Become an Oxfam Action Corps Leader!

Since April of last year, I have been working in Burlington, Vermont to create visibility for Oxfam's amazing work as the Oxfam Action Corps Leader. Over the course of the year, I have found and coordinated volunteers, tabled at farmers' markets, lobbied the national congress, and organized events to bring attention to many of the issues facing those in poverty across the world.

The experience has taught me patience and dedication. It has shown me what a strong and viable organization Oxfam America is, and it has allowed me to grow as a leader within a structured role that also allowed for a lot of freedom.

The opportunity to become a community leader, and the four-day training in Washington D.C. that initiates this experience can help any growing leader and volunteer in a number of different ways. The experience allows you to hone in on your own management style, discovering what works and what doesn't, and it helps you to figure out what your greatest strengths are as a leader. But it also teaches empathy, creativity, and the importance of finding out and building on a team's strengths.

Now, my tenure as leader is almost up, and I am searching for others to take this position.

If you are interested, you can sign up for this opportunity. It only takes a few minutes. You can also reach out to me if you have questions. Just email:

Here's a little more information from our offices about what this position entails:

Leadership opportunity:  Organize in your community to end global hunger – join the Oxfam Action Corps!

The Oxfam Action Corps is a group of trained grassroots advocates in fifteen US cities who organize with other local volunteers in support of our GROW campaign for policies that will save lives, defend the rights of women and farmers, and protect communities worldwide from rising food prices and climate change. It includes a free national advocacy and leadership training for select participants. You will gain leadership skills, have fun, and change the world!

Sign-up by February 14 to apply for Oxfam’s free four-day leadership training in Washington D.C. April 5-8, 2014.

View and share the short video below, highlighting the great work done by the Action Corps:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Join Us for a World Food Day Event

October 16:

Join us on World Food Day

For a Screening of “Land Rush,” discussion, and snacks

75% of Mali’s population are farmers, but rich, land-hungry nations like China and Saudi Arabia are leasing Mali’s land in order to turn large areas into agribusiness farms. Many Malian peasants do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. As Mali experiences a military coup, the developers are scared off – but can Mali’s farmers combat food shortages and escape poverty on their own terms?

On World Food Day, learn what you can do in Vermont to help support worldwide food security through Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Campaign.

Screening of: “Land Rush” & Discussion

October 16,
7:00 – 8:30 PM

Livak Ballroom Davis Center
(4th Floor) University of Vermont

Organized by: 

Oxfam Action Corps VT and
UVM Oxfam Club

find out more:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Senator Leahy Responds to Our Questions on Food Aid Reform

While in D.C., I talked to representatives from both Representative Peter Welch's office and Senator Bernie Sanders' office about the importance of supporting the President's Proposal to Reform Food Aid. Both Welch's aide and Sanders' aide said they were fully onboard with feeding more hungry people on the same budget. Unfortunately, we could not get an appointment with anybody in Senator Patrick Leahy's office, but we were able to drop off some information about the Food Aid reforms that we believe are critical to helping to feed 17 million more people than we already do with less waste for the same cost.

We were sad not to hear from Leahy after our visit, but with several follow-up calls from well-spoken volunteers, we did finally receive a reply from Leahy's office. The good news is that he also wants to see improved efficiency in the way that the U.S. delivers foreign aid. We just want to make sure that we are included in the list of "public and private sector partners" that he mentions. We also want to promote the "sweeping changes" that we know will help produce 53% less waste and ultimately save lives and grow positive attitudes towards the U.S. abroad.

We're excited to have our congressional representation here in Vermont reflect our own beliefs, and we look forward to communicating with them further as there are more developments in the fight to end food inequality and help stem global poverty.

Here's what Leahy's office wrote:

Dear Ms. Lovegrove:  
Thank you for contacting me about improving the efficiency and quality of international food aid. 
On May 7, 2013, I held an oversight hearing in my role as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations on the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Fiscal Year 2014 budget request. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah testified and answered questions regarding the economic and humanitarian impacts of food aid reform both at home and abroad and specifically addressed monetization. Administrator Shah stated that shifting away from monetization and toward local capacity building will not only help avert local product displacement, but save on shipping costs and improve the delivery time of food aid in emergency situations. Like you, I support USAID's goal of increasing efficiencies in international food aid programs to save money and feed more hungry people. While there are strong, competing views on the issue and I am doubtful that we will achieve the sweeping reforms USAID proposes in a single year, I will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture, USAID, and other public and private sector partners to address the inefficiencies in monetization and provide greater resources for local and regional purchase of food. 
United States Senator