At Student Support Network, we not only work to meet students’ immediate needs but also advocate for change related to the underlying issues that cause food insecurity and poverty.

Advocacy is an essential part of the mission of the Student Support Network. We realize change happens both at the individual level and at the systemic level, so we supplement the direct assistance we provide to students with advocacy for change through policy – in the school system, local government, and state government.

We’d love to add your voice to our advocacy efforts! Start by visiting our Information Center to get up to speed on the rates of poverty in Baltimore County and in Network schools, how food insecurity impacts students’ ability to succeed, and more.

Next, review the efforts (noted below) that we have made and are continuing to make to advocate on behalf of all students living in poverty in Baltimore County and beyond.

And finally, please consider joining our Advocacy Committee, led by Board Member Tam Lynne Kelley.

A University of Kansas Study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open July 13, 2022, finds that access to the food assistance program, SNAP, curbs child maltreatment.  The study is titled: “Association Between State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Policies, Child Protective Services Involvement, and Foster Care in the US, 2004-2016,”

It is because of the Network’s understanding of this connection between food insecurity and the risk to children’s physical and mental well-being that our advocacy committee worked so hard to advocate for increased funding to support the Summer SNAP for Children program.  As a result of this advocacy and our strong partnerships with leadership at the state and county, 30,205 children in Baltimore County will receive this additional food assistance!

On February 2, 2022, the Student Support Network published Maryland’s Roadmap to End Hunger in 2022.

On January 25, 2022, we attended the first town hall meeting on the County budget (District 2) and made a statement in support of full funding for three critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs: Summer SNAP for children, minimum SNAP benefit, and Maryland Meals For Achievement.

Thanks to the efforts of Tam Lynne Kelley, Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, President, we are thrilled to report that on January 18, 2022, the Governor’s Office announced that $4.8 million in additional funding will be provided for the Summer SNAP for Children program, which will assist over 50,000 children in low-income families state-wide.

On January 10, 2022, the Student Support Network published Baltimore County’s Roadmap to End Hunger in 2022.

In January, the Student Support Network published an analysis of Poverty and Food Insecurity in Baltimore County Schools.