“This is not your grandmother’s hunger,” says Janet Poppendieck, a sociologist at the City University of New York. “Today more working people and their families are hungry because wages have declined.”
It's not all bad news.
People are living longer, we're winning the fight against malaria, worldwide poverty is down, and eight more reasons for hope in the coming year.
"The story of American families facing food insecurity is as frustrating as it is heartbreaking, because the truth is as avoidable as it is tragic. Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children. And yet Congress can’t pass a Farm Bill because our representatives continue to fight over how many billions to slash from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The debate is filled with tired clichés about freeloaders undeserving of government help, living large at the expense of honest, hardworking taxpayers." Bill Moyers spends an hour
with two of the creators of the documentary "A Place at the Table
." [more inside]
A Portrait of Hunger.
A look at poverty and hunger in Philadelphia.
Almost 15 percent of US households are "food insecure".
Last year, nearly 17 million children, or 22.5 per cent, lived in households in which food at times was scarce - 4 million children more than the year before. And the number of youngsters who sometimes went hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million. [more inside]
When welfare benefits the rich, and starves the poor:
Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year
, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years
. [more inside]
Many poor Haitians, driven over the edge by world rising food prices, are now eating cakes of mud, salt and shortening
in order to survive. This article
in the September issue of National Geographic describes how, thanks to history and other factors such as hurricanes, Haiti has lost its ability to feed itself; more than 90% of the country is deforested. The picture caption in the print version, not seen online, uses the word "clay" instead of "dirt". Bill Quigley wrote about the U.S. role in Haiti's food riots
, which claimed six lives last spring.
The new face of hunger
-- “World agriculture has entered a new, unsustainable and politically risky period” says the International Food Policy Research Institute. Food riots have erupted in countries all along the equator because of soaring food commodity prices. So, where does the world get more food? If the extra supplies are to come mainly from large farmers in America and Europe, then they may be trapped in a farm subsidy Catch-22
. Increase production per acre? We just learned about the myth of GM crops (previously of MeFi
). All of this is why some are just sitting out Earth Day