Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

51 posts from August 2012

Eating on $4.30 per day

Girl-eating

A young girl enjoys breakfast at a local farmer's market. (Photo by Margaret W. Nea)

by Eric Bond

How much will you spend on food today?

For breakfast I ate two bananas (40 cents each), a handful of almonds (let’s say $1.00), a whole wheat bagel (65 cents), two eggs (21 cents each), and a cup of coffee from the corner café ($1.79). Having spent a total of $4.68, I felt thrifty, and I ate fairly well. I also broke the SNAP budget for an entire day.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) allots about $4.30 per person per day. Figuring out how to purchase 2,000 nutritious calories on that amount is a test of creativity and resources.

Try stretching those dollars when you live in a food desert, miles from a well-stocked, economical grocery store. What if you haven’t got any cooking appliances or the money to power them? What if you are working full time, earning barely enough to cover the rent?  Would you have the time and energy to search for, purchase, and cook enough food to sustain yourself on $4.30 per day? Somehow you would have to find a way.

This is reality of the farm bill—which funds SNAP.

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The Large Cost of a Small Operation

Farmer-and-tractor

A farmer in the Mississippi Delta region. People who earn their living as farmers have a unique role in society as stewards of an essential public good—an agriculture system that feeds and nourishes everyone. (Photo by Todd Post/Bread for the World)

by Gabrielle Hall

Unbeknownst to most people, thousands of local farmers across the country work tirelessly to harvest enough to get by each year. Unfortunately, the current food system in United States creates hardships for small farmers to stay afloat.

“It's very important to look at our broken food system, which actually comes from a broken agriculture system. For many years, the big guys were the only ones that counted and the little guys had to do the stuff by themselves.” said Robin Robbins, food safety and marketing manager at Appalachian Harvest, a company that supports small farmers and purchases from local farms to put together truckloads of fruits and vegetables.

Here is a look at some of the other challenges small farmers face:

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Quote of the day: Federico Garcia Lorca

Motherdaughter

The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.

— Federico Garcia Lorca

Photo: Mother and daughter enjoy a block party in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Crista Friedli/Bread for the World)

Circle of Protection: An Educational Activity for Kids

Red rover 8.20.12

(Photo by Flickr user woodleywonderworks)

by Robin Stephenson.

Age: 5-11

Time: 20-25 mins. 

Materials:

Bread slice shaped pieces of paper

Markers, crayons, pens

Stamps and envelopes 

Description: As we raise our voices through personal letter writing and conducting an offering of letters in church, don’t forget the children. The following activity is a game meant to teach youngsters about the circle of protection and give them an opportunity to make their voices heard in Congress.

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An Extra Time for the Grassroots Call

Lobby Day Visit

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) meets with Bread for the World activist Margaret Edmondson of Idaho during Bread for the World's Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (Photo by Rick Reinhard for Bread for the World)

By Robin Stephenson

In order to accommodate as many activists as possible, we have added an additional time for our Grassroots Conference Call (and Webinar) tomorrow, Aug. 21. Now you can call in at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (that is 1 p.m. Pacific Time for the West Coast) or at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (5 p.m. Pacific Time).  Register now for the slot that best fits your schedule!

The monthly call is a great way to get the most recent update on the Offering of Letters, ask questions of our expert policy analysts from our government relations department and hear from your dedicated organizing staff and Bread members.  

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It’s Time to Bust Myths About SNAP

Alliandandre

Alex Morris, from Bend, OR, depends on SNAP, WIC, and other programs to care for André, who suffers from a serious medical condition that affects his hormonal system. (Photo by Brad Horn/Bread for the World)

by Christine Melendez Ashley

Misinformation about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is far too prevalent. Sometimes it seems that I can’t check the news—or even Facebook—without reading another inaccurate claim about the program and its participants.

As a domestic policy analyst at Bread, I know that the facts tell a different story.  SNAP served more than 46 million Americans in May. Here are some hard facts about the program:

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QOTD: Desmond Tutu

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(Photo courtesy Elke Wetzig/Wikipedia Commons)

When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, "Now is that political, or social?" He said, "I feed you." Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Importance of Diversity

Newsroom Diversity 8.17.12

Rev. Derrick Boykin, Bread for the World's associate for African-American leadership outreach, prepares for an interview. (Photo by Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World)

by Susanne Ramirez de Arellano

Newsroom diversity is necessary. It is the driving force behind the honest and hard hitting reporting that is needed to effectively tackle issues such as hunger and poverty. At this year’s Unity conference—the fifth gathering of journalists of color—the hit taken by diversity in the media due to the recession was a central theme, alongside the shifting landscape and the digital frontier.

We exist in a Darwinian media whose architecture is expanding into different platforms with a rapidity that is stunning and at times confusing. Immediacy, flexibility, and mobility are the sons and daughters of the new technology.

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Fasting During Ramadan Provides an Opportunity to Act Against Hunger

Ramadan 8.17.12by Tony Hall and Abed Ayoub.

As droughts swelter in the American Midwest and the Sahel region of Africa, Muslims across the United States are called to celebrate Ramadan. This month of fasting and spiritual reflection continues until August 19, providing a timely reminder of the increasing number of hungry people suffering during this time of climate and economic uncertainty. The prayerful deprivation of food during Ramadan should be connected to the lives of nearly a billion people who are hungry every day.  

It is heartening to see such compassion fueling the fight against hunger. This year’s Ramadan fast comes at a critical moment for many Americans. According to the latest census, more than 17 million U.S. households are food insecure. Nearly one in four children in our country is at risk of going to bed hungry. Harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) have been proposed in versions of the 2012 Farm Bill currently being considered before Congress. SNAP helps 46 million Americans put food on the table; the cuts would prove devastating for so many in need.  

Opponents of SNAP and other federal nutrition programs say it should be the responsibility of charities to feed hungry people; however, less than 5 percent of food assistance for poor people comes from charities. In fact, most food assistance comes from government nutrition programs like SNAP. While food banks do their best to feed these families, the reality is that the problem is too large: we cannot food bank our way out of hunger.  

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What Do Liberia and Virginia Have in Common?

Afric vs African American hunger poverty 8.16.12

A market in Liberia. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

by Kristen Archer.

Liberia is about the same size as Virginia, but its poverty rate is nearly quadruple that of African-Americans in that state. 

“Hunger and poverty among African-Americans mirror the unjust circumstances many people in African nations endure,” said Rev. Derrick Boykin, associate for African-American leadership outreach at Bread for the World. “However, hunger and poverty impacts many African nations more severely, often resulting in disease or even death.”

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