Witnesses to Hunger

Started at Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Witnesses to Hunger is a national advocacy project featuring the voices and photography of parents who have experienced poverty and hunger firsthand. Its goal is to ignite a dialogue about the issues facing parents working to make ends meet in the nation’s capital and beyond.


Kim is the proud mother of three children ages 13, 11, and 3. She is an Admin Officer at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD, as well as a part time student at Prince George’s Community College. In addition to serving as a Witness, Kim enjoys DIY home projects and reading, and has developed a real love for photography. She is passionate about issues ranging from healthcare to domestic violence to housing. She joined Witnesses to Hunger to connect with other caregivers who share her struggles and passion to address social issues. Kim lives in Northwest Washington, DC.


Nefatera is an educator and mother of one. She is the first person in her large family to attend college. Nefatera joined the Witnesses to Hunger group because of her interest in youth advocacy and education, and to become a powerful voice for the working and non-working community. She would like to improve the state of DC’s housing, health care, and education by advocating on behalf of her family, students, and community. Nefatera resides east of the Anacostia River.


Jessica is a security officer in Washington, DC. She joined the DC Witnesses project to advocate for improvement in the city’s affordable housing. In addition to being a member of Witnesses, Jessica enjoys spending time with her two boys, reading, and writing. She is currently working on writing her own book. Jessica resides in Northwest Washington DC with her 3 children.



Judith is a single mother who strives everyday to make a better future for herself and her daughter. Judith joined Witnesses to Hunger because she is passionate about improving conditions for the homeless, people seeking affordable housing, and single mothers trying to balance getting an education while caring for their children.




Lelise joined the DC Witnesses to gain the advocacy and organization skills to improve conditions for her family and others like her. She is passionate about affordable housing and public safety. She resides in Northwest Washington, DC.





Tera is a student and mother of two. She joined the DC Chapter of Witnesses to Hunger to make her voice heard on issues that have seriously affected her friends, family, and neighbors. She cares most about housing, health, child care, and homelessness. Terra lives in Northeast Washington, DC with her two children.




How Gentrification Exacerbates Hunger (TalkPoverty)

Hunger Exhibit Puts Face, Context to District’s Working Poor Problems (AFRO)

Women Share Their Photos of What It’s Like to Live With Hunger (National Journal)

Parents Photograph The Experience of Hunger and Poverty for New Exhibit (WAMU 88.5)

Witnesses to Hunger (WJLA)


All too often, policies and programs are created without the participation of the people who are most affected.

The true experts on maternal and child health and poverty are the mothers of young children. These moms focus their lenses on their children, on their neighborhoods, on their daily grinds at work and on welfare. They are teachers with valuable lessons to impart. Each of us is invited to look and listen for their guidance.

The DC Witnesses program at Martha’s Table is continuously evolving. After months of meeting to discuss issues facing low-income families living in the District of Columbia and learning about media and advocacy, the core group of DC Witnesses presented their photos and shared their experiences with a huge crowd at the January 14th site launch, hosted by THEARC. Currently, Martha’s Table is assembling a committee of stakeholders and policy experts to navigate the Witnesses toward opportunities for testimony, media, and other impactful ways to share their experiences.

To learn more about the national Witnesses to Hunger project, please visit the Center for Hunger-Free Communities online.