Sharing my story began in Philadelphia, PA when I was 21 year old. I was the first mother to join Witnesses to Hunger. Witnesses to Hunger Started in Philadelphia in 2008, “Witnesses to Hunger is a research and advocacy project partnering with the real experts on hunger—mothers and caregivers of young children who have experienced hunger and poverty. Through their photographs and stories, Witnesses advocate for their own families and others and seek to create lasting changes on a local, state and national level. Learn more about Witnesses to Hunger’s history.
Witnesses to Hunger began in Philadelphia but spread across the nation, creating a diverse collection of sites, all working to bring a voice to those experiencing hunger and working for change. It is a project about the participation and action of those who know firsthand the experience of raising a child on a limited income engages each mother to speak on her own behalf in order to draw attention to the negative affects of household food insecurity and poverty on the health and well-being of young children.”
I was given a free camera by Dr. Mariana Chilton and was told to share my story through pictures. I did, and doing so brought me the opportunity to be featured in the documentary ” A Place at the Table. This documentary changed my life and gave me the opportunity to speak across the country including The White House and working with many amazing communities, advocates, celebrities, non-profits, places of worship and more. My mission now is to help others learn the power of their voice and to remind people from all backgrounds and income levels that WE DO MATTER! I want to eliminate the stigma regarding people who come from low-income neighborhoods to further my mission of helping others.
Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Barbie and her family experienced food insecurity firsthand. As a result, she has turned her experience into expertise with years of direct service experience, grassroots organizing, and providing consulting services to government and non-profit organizations. Barbie has dedicated the past 13 years to being an activist, organizer, and advocate and has found it to be her life’s calling.
Fighting to overcome poverty.
Advocating for change!
Miss Izquierdo was born into generational cycles of poverty and has battled to stop the cycle of poverty in her family. She struggled with food insecurity having lost her job during a recession. Barbie was often unable to buy enough food for her daughter, son, and herself. On many days, she skipped meals to make sure her children had something to eat. This ignited her passion for change, and desperation to take action!
Barbie is featured in the documentary “A Place at the Table” that urges a call to action to end hunger in America. She has been a keynote speaker at the White House and has been featured on BBC World News, CNN, Associated Press, Washington Post, People Magazine, and much more. She has worked with Maria Shriver and many other prominent figures.
Barbie says “I feel like America has this huge stigma of how families are supposed to eat together at a table, but they don’t talk about what it takes to get you there or what’s there when you’re actually at the table”. She is “fighting for substantial changes to eradicate food insecurity so that her children and their children won’t have to choose between feeding themselves and paying a bill”. Barbie has used her circumstances as motivation to fight for others. She raises awareness by sharing her story and advocating for policy changes that are both dignified and equitable.”