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: Vermont@OxfamActionCorps.org

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. 
Sincerely,  
 PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The David Wax Museum Show: Helping to Improve Foreign Aid

The David Wax Museum was generous enough to let us be at their concert last week at Higher Ground. The band has been a great supporter of Oxfam since David Wax interned with Oxfam several years ago. Needless to say, he is dedicated to the organization. He was also a very friendly guy, who was open and kind to the many fans who showed up for the concert.

We were there to see a great show, but also to gain signatures for a petition to reform US food aid. Thanks to the insight and outstanding new policies suggested in the President’s budget proposal for FY14, we have the exciting opportunity to overhaul the out-dated foreign aid delivery systems that have been in place since 1955. This is a giant leap to bring poverty and food aid policies into the 21st century.

Federal politicians from both sides of the aisle have committed to keep an open mind to these policies, that will greatly increase efficiencies in foreign aid. However, to take politicians from considering to voting in favor of these programs require your help. We were able to gain almost fifty signatures at the show, but lobbying groups are drowning our voice, and we need all of the support that we can get. You can help by sending a note to Congress here.

In the meantime if you would like to get information on the revolutionary aid policies from other organizations that from across the ideological spectrum, check out these informative links:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A New Year for the Vermont Oxfam Action Corps

Every year two new Action Corps Organizers are chosen to lead each city's Oxfam Action Corps. Our goal, as trained organizers, is to be the on-the-ground arm of Oxfam's campaigning efforts. This means that we help spread the message about the inequalities and poverty in the world, but more importantly, we show the simple ways in which people across America can help end these inequalities, one action and one petition at a time.

Before we start to table farmers' markets, and spread the message at concerts, hunger banquets, and other events, all of the new organizers had to get trained. Here's what it involved:

For four days, 29 amazing people from 15 cities across the country congregated in Washington D.C. We spent three days locked away in a beautiful classroom, getting to know each other and the intricacies of how Oxfam is organized and run. We learned how to organize, spread the message, and even lobby. In fact, we spent our final day in the capital, talking to our representatives and senators about the President's policy to reform Food Aid.

Over the coming months, expect to hear more from myself and my co-organizer as we hit the ground, gathering partners and volunteers, and looking to make a difference for those in need in any way we can. Interested in joining us? Send us an email at Vermont@OxfamActionCorps.org. We look forward to meeting you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Act Local, Think Global!


Support Women Farmers
Fight Global Hunger 
Build a Better Food System

Join the Oxfam Action Corps!

Advocate in your community on behalf of millions worldwide
Free spaces are available at training April 13-16, 2013  – Apply now!

ð  Are you concerned that the people who grow the world’s food—many of whom are women—cannot afford to feed their own families?  And that one in eight people goes to bed hungry every night even though the world produces enough food for everybody?

ð  Do you want to take action in your city to achieve policies to sustainably feed a growing population and empower poor people to earn a living, feed their families, and thrive?
ð  Are you willing to reach out to others in your community to hold governments and businesses accountable for the impact of their policies and practices on the environment and global food security?

Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, invites you to join the Oxfam Action Corps, an exciting effort to cultivate grassroots leaders and political change.

Oxfam Action Corps volunteers work closely with Oxfam staff to engage their community and elected officials. We will provide training and support throughout a one-year time commitment.  You'll meet amazing activists, build community, and drive political solutions.

We are recruiting for the Oxfam Action Corps in these cities:

Albuquerque, NM
Columbus, OH
Minn./St Paul, MN
Austin, TX
Des Moines, IA
New York City, NY
Boston, MA
Indianapolis, IN
Philadelphia, PA
Burlington, VT
Kansas City, MO
San Francisco, CA
Chicago, IL
Madison, WI
Seattle, WA

Here is what previous Oxfam Action Corps volunteers said:

“Oxfam Action Corps has given me a ton of confidence… gaining knowledge and being able to speak to people about the issues.”  Amy , Business Operations Analyst, Des Moines

“I liked it, loved it, actually.  I now have a better appreciation for activism and I do believe that it can really make a difference!”  Debby, Graduate Student, VT

"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." – Isaac., Educator, New York City

          Sign-up by February 14 at:
            www.oxfamactioncorps.org