14 posts categorized "Hunger Report"
Siblings Ricky Horton (left) and Sherily Shepard (right) are former tobacco farmers who now grow produce in Blackwater, VA. Screen grab from the short film "In Short Supply: Small Farmers and the Struggle to Deliver Health Food to Your Plate."
by Laura Elizabeth Pohl
I pulled the envelope out of my work mailbox, noted its thinness and thought, "A rejection from the United Nations Assocation Film Festival. Ah well."
I didn't open the letter for a few hours and when I did, what a surprise. "In Short Supply: Small Farmers and the Struggle to Deliver Healthy Food to Your Plate,” was accepted into the festival. It will be on the big screen in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime between October 18-28 (exact date TBD). Great news for Bread for the World and the three of us who collaborated on the film: Brad Horn, multimedia storyteller now working at the Washington Post; Molly Marsh, Bread's former managing editor; and me.
The film illustrates some of the uncertainties small American farmers face, from unpredictable weather to changing immigration laws. Through the stories of Ricky Horton and Sherilyn Shepard, siblings who grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables in southwestern Virginia, the short film aims to show how the American food system poses obstacles to delivering healthy foods to American homes.
You can watch the story below—and, of course, in the Bay Area this fall. Hope to see you there!
- Read more about "In Short Supply: Small Farmers and the Struggle to Deliver Healthy Food to Your Plate."
- Please read Bread for the World's Hunger Report to learn more about these issues.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl is the multimedia manager at Bread for the World. You can find her on Twitter at @lauraepohl.
by Roger Thurow
In Lutacho, Kenya, the rains were late. It was mid-March 2011, and the farmers of western Kenya were still in the grip of the brutally hot dry season. The year before, the seasonal rains that usher in the corn planting began at the end of February; by March of that year the first shoots of the stalks were already pushing through the soil. Now, though, the fields remained parched and the farmers nervous.
And every day the farmers’ worry increased. They knew that a drought, bringing great hunger, was spreading across the eastern and northern realms of their country and throughout the Horn of Africa. Western Kenya, one of the breadbaskets of the region, was usually blessed with good rains. But the extended dry season had made some of them anxious that the drought might reach them as well.
“What if it doesn’t rain?” I asked Agnes Wekhwela, one of the farmers. She was 72 years old, two decades beyond the average life expectancy in Kenya. Her face was creased with wrinkles and wisdom. She had more experience divining the weather than most anyone else.
“It will rain,” she said firmly.
It was a cloudless day, with a brilliant blue sky. “How can you be so confident?” I pressed.
“God knows where we live,” she said, again with great certainty. “God knows who we are.”
A few days later, her bedrock faith was confirmed. The rain began falling, the farmers planted, the heat and the anxiety broke.
That conversation with Agnes became a touchstone for me. Yes, I thought, God knows where the farmers live, God knows who they are. But do we?
That conversation and those questions drove my efforts to report on the lives of these farmers, their hopes and fears, their struggles and triumphs. Every day I was with them, my conviction grew stronger: we must know who they are.
Photo by Flickr user burgundavia
One of my favorite vegetables — debatably fruits — is the tomato, and the hot months of July and August make no better time to enjoy the tomato’s perfectly sweet and juicy taste.
In March 2011, I ventured down to Immokalee, FL for the first time with a group of 11 other Georgetown students to learn about migrant laborers who work long, hot hours in tomato fields so that we can enjoy these large red staples of our diets. What I learned in my week in Immokalee shocked me.
Here’s something new you may not know about the 2012 Hunger Report, “Rebalancing Act: Updating U.S. Food and Farm Policies.” Bread for the World Institute offers a Christian Study Guide for engaging your congregation, Bible study group, or small group in informative conversations about the report. The study guide features six small-group sessions designed to facilitate discussion and action based on the contents of the report. Created for Christians of many theological and political viewpoints, the study guide is easily adaptable to enhance the group’s experience. Each study guide session includes:
- Biblical reflection materials and questions
- A summary of the theme as presented in the Hunger Report, along with reflection questions
- Activities to engage group members in analyzing current realities, using content from the Hunger Report and their life experiences
- An invitation to pray and act in light of the discussion.
Each session of the Study Guide also invites participants to consider how they might take action in response to the issues discussed. Session topics include:
- Session 1: Our Broken Food System can be Transformed
- Session 2: Nutrition is Critical to Fighting Hunger
- Session 3: Farm Policies should not Show Favoritism
- Session 4: Poor and Vulnerable People should be Protected
- Session 5: Farmers, Farm Workers, and Just Livelihoods
- Session 6: Community Efforts can Transform Food Systems
The 2012 Hunger Report Christian Study Guide is available online. A hard copy can also be found on page 120 of the printed Hunger Report.