The original name for Hunger Action Advocates (HAA) was Hunger Action Enablers (HAE). The term was coined by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. in 1973, when the Women’s Birthday Offering established a network of 14 Hunger Action Enablers to serve the synods and the General Assembly’s Task Force on World Hunger. In 2015, the title was changed to HAA in order to highlight the advocacy work included in this position.
Hunger Action Advocates are a vital part of the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s (PHP) local work as they serve presbyteries as educators, motivators, and facilitators of hunger action. As advocates of others, they resource, alert, and mobilize Presbyterians for specific hunger action.
Hunger Action Advocates assist congregations and other groups to become engaged with the poor in their own communities and in other countries to address immediate needs and long-term solutions. They provide a link with a local, regional and national ecumenical agencies (including PHP) which address issues of direct hunger relief, hunger-related development assistance, public policy advocacy, education and interpretation about hunger and lifestyle issues, including environmental justice.
Hunger Action Advocates receive a matching grant from PHP. They are accountable to the governing body which calls them. These governing bodies are expected to provide supervision and to conduct annual evaluations which are shared with the PHP Advisory Committee.