By Ed Nicholson
One of our goals with this site is to be a positive force in helping bring the discussion of hunger online, creating awareness for the issue and those instrumental in the fight against hunger.
When we came to the issue nine years ago, we found a lively discussion already occurring among a passionate community of those involved in hunger relief.
We believe there’s still enormous upside potential to bring that discussion online via social networking tools, and to expand the community of decidated hunger fighters well beyond where it is today.
Fortunately, there are some hunger relief communicators blazing the trail. They’re using the tools, and most importantly, they’re engaging in two-way conversations, not simply broadcasting their messages. If you’re involved in the issue, these are people and groups you’ll probably want to follow, if you aren’t already.
Share Our Strength
Billy Shore, Founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, has always been a tremendous communicator. Share Our Strength now has Jeff Wiedner doing an exemplary job of heading up online communications, using all of the popular social networking tools, including a Twitter account Facebook cause pages, LinkedIn, a very nicely-done YouTube channel, and a Flickr account. In addition to Jeff, who runs the organization’s Twitter account Billy Shore, Eric Herboso, and Suzy Twohig also have Twitter accounts.
Feeding America has a very well-produced YouTube channel, a quickly-growing Twitter account and active Facebook and MySpace pages. Feeding America’s existing large and active community, enhanced by strong corporate support ensures that pretty much any tool the organization adopts will rapidly gain an active following.
Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (Austin)
This organization was early to the game and remains a leader in their use of social media. In addition to authoring for their blog, CEO, David Davenport; VP of Communications Kerri Qunell; Advocacy and Online Marketing Director, Lisa Goddard, and several others from the food bank engage regularly with stakeholders through a number of different channels, including Twitter and Facebook accounts. YouTube, Facebook page, Flickr. Definitely some best practices here.
Food Bank for New York City
A relatively new blog shows bright promise as the centerpiece of this leading food bank’s social media efforts (they’re showing true social media savvy by asking readers to help name their blog ) Additionally the food bank has a Facebook cause page, as well as a YouTube Channel and Twitter Account Online Communications Manager Daniel Buckley does a good job of coordinating social media efforts and using the tools to engage.
North Texas Food Bank (Dallas)
Another great example of a Feeding America food bank using a variety of social networking tools, including a blog, a Facebook page, a MySpace page and a YouTube channel. Mark Armstrong manages the food bank’s Twitter account.
Community Cooperative Ministeries Incorporated
This Fort Myers, Florida agency is doing a great job of creating hyperlocal awareness, focused on challenges of hunger and poverty in their area. They have a Twitter account and are using new media tools, including Pitch Engine’s social media news release service to create awareness of their activities, as well as using vimeo to post online video. Their CEO, Sarah Owen (who guest-posted here last week), is also a Twitterer. Take a look at their campaign designed to raise awareness of kids at risk of hunger over the weekends.
No doubt there are many other great social media efforts occuring among hunger organizations around the country. Let me know what’s going on in your community, and we’ll feature it here. The goal is to connect.