Speakers Bureau

If we expect change to happen, people with lived experience must be part of the discussions to build and sustain hunger-free communities. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s Speakers Bureau builds leadership and public speaking skills of people living in poverty so they can raise their voices in the work to end hunger. Graduates are equipped to share their stories and change the narrative about poor people, and to illustrate the complexities of poverty and food insecurity in the United States.

These collective voices come together to educate elected officials and the general public on the root causes of hunger; and shines a light on the often hidden crisis of hunger, and make the issue more personal by connecting people who are struggling to get by and have been subject to a broken system that keeps them in poverty. 

The first Speakers Bureau class was held in spring 2016. A second class graduated in spring 2017. So far, Speakers Bureau graduates have aided in research with local colleges, participated in various community boards and committees, helped execute community food security programs, visited elected officials in both Albany and Washington DC, and educated many public and private groups about their experiences with food insecurity and poverty.

Meet the Speakers        Schedule a Speaker         Become a Speaker

Meet the Speakers

Crystal Batista
Crystal is earning a master’s degree in Cultural Sustainability while healing and overcoming trauma and poverty. She raised two children into adulthood as a single mother. She recently completed service with Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps Vista. Crystal is a passionate advocate for social justice, equity and wellness. She practices Oriental Energy Medicine and is a Reiki Master and she has a goal to start a healing arts nonprofit.
•  Poverty, trauma and healing
•  The impact of food on health, learning and healing
•  Realities and obstacles of navigating social assistance programs

Meet More Speakers

Schedule a Speaker
Speakers can speak to hunger and food insecurity in the Southern Tier and their specific areas of expertise. Speakers can address a large or small group in settings such as a panel, interview, presentation, community cafe, event, or a less formal talk.  View speaker profiles above and contact Lyndsey Lyman at the Food Bank to get more information about the speaker including availability and stipend cost. 

Want to host a Speaker? Contact:
Lyndsey Lyman, Community Education Coordinator
Email | 607.796.6061 x4031

Interested in facilitating a Speakers Bureau class, hosting a class, or starting your own Speakers Bureau? Contact:
Randi Quackenbush
Advocacy & Education Manager
Email |  607.796.6061 x4039

 Apply to the Program: Become a Speaker

We are actively seeking the leadership of experts in lived experience of hunger or poverty whose voices are underrepresented in the anti-hunger movement. We’re looking for folks from all walks of life! Speakers Bureau graduates will be problem-solvers who share their experience and information about poverty and food insecurity with their community and elected officials.

Speakers Bureau will help participants:
•  learn about hunger in the Southern Tier
•  build strong relationships in their community
•  develop their personal narrative to move others to action
•  network and engage with anti-hunger leaders and elected officials through political advocacy

Applications for the next Speakers Bureau class are not available at this time. More details will be provided soon. 

388 Upper Oakwood Ave.
Elmira, New York 14903

Phone: 607.796.6061
Fax: 607.796.6028
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8-4 
(Summer hours Mon.-Thurs. 8-4:30; Fri. 8-1)

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