Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

270 posts categorized "Hunger in the News"

Hunger in the News: Global Poverty, For-Profit Prisons, Venezuela, and Welfare Programs

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Is it possible to end global poverty?” by Linda Yueh, BBC News. “Later this year, the UN is expected to adopt the World Bank's ambitious target of ending extreme poverty by 2030.”

How California Voters Got So Smart on Crime,” by Sasha Abramsky, The Nation. “California voters get their say on so many initiatives every election cycle that it can be difficult to separate the trivial from the significant. But there was no mistaking what happened when the Golden State’s electorate gave Proposition 47 a 20 percent margin of victory this past November: an earthquake was unleashed in the world of criminal justice. The tremors have reached as far as Texas and New York, where prison reformers are looking at Prop 47 as a model for their own proposals.”

Fight Poverty, Not Savings,” by Bloomberg View. “Some welfare programs exclude people who have financial assets, and for good reason. If the goal is to help people who are living in poverty, the program shouldn't waste resources on people who aren't actually poor. If you lose your job but have enough money in the bank to tide you over comfortably, you don't need food stamps, disability payments or other forms of public support as much as people with no savings do. Yet some asset limits are set too low. By preventing beneficiaries from saving enough money to become self-sufficient, the government can make it unnecessarily hard for them to escape poverty. New data suggests some limits could well be raised.”

Cookie Lyon of Fox's 'Empire' Sheds Rare Light on Black Women's Incarceration and Reentry,” by Kali Nicole Gross, The Huffington Post. “Lee Daniels's blockbuster Empire, an over-the-top soap opera featuring a prominent African American family in the rap world, has tackled a variety of subjects that most mainstream black shows fear to tread -- such as homophobia and psychiatric illness. Yet Cookie Lyon, the mother and ex-wife of the record label's founder, sheds a rare light on black female incarceration and the challenges of prisoner reentry.”

The Growing Right Arm of For-Profit Prisons,” by Mona Shattell, The Huffington Post. “The US incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. The unprecedented increase in our prison populations happened over the last 30 years, and in part is because of the prison industrial complex and the private prison industry that profits from (and contributes to) mass incarceration.”

Unlikely Bedfellows From Cory Booker to Newt Gingrich Unite in DC to Reform Prisons,” by Alice Speri, Vice News. “A summit on mass incarceration is bringing together odd bedfellows from across the political spectrum on Thursday — for what organizers hope will be a "bipartisan breakthrough of massive proportions" that will make criminal justice reform a priority for policymakers at the federal level.”

Venezuela: Does an increase in poverty signal threat to government?” by By J.J. Gallagher, The Christian Science Monitor. “Former President Chávez targeted the country's poor with subsidies and programs funded by oil revenues. But with oil prices plummeting and poverty on the rise, this core base of supporters is being tested.”

Hunger in the News: Budget Reconciliation, Overcrowded Prisons, Congress, and Poverty

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Hunger pangs no longer haunt NCAA players,” by J. Brady McCollough, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The NCAA prides itself on giving its athletes a big stage. And certainly, no player did more with his one shining moment than former University of Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, last year’s tournament Most Outstanding Player. In the minutes after the Huskies triumphed in the national championship game, Mr. Napier, instead of basking in the glory, brushed off the confetti and took the opportunity to provide some real insight into his four years as a “student-athlete.” ‘There are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving,’ Mr. Napier said.”

Despite Good Intentions, Vacancies in Refugee Camp in Jordan for Syrians,” by Rana F. Sweis, The New York Times. “Here in Jordan’s vast northeastern desert, row after row of white steel shelters built specially for Syrian refugees sit empty.”

USDA partners with University of Kentucky to reduce child hunger in rural areas,” by Agri-Pulse. “The USDA will be embarking on a new partnership with the University of Kentucky to reduce child hunger in poor, rural areas of the state and up to 15 other states as well.”

Fruit and vegetable vouchers could buy poorer people a more nutritious diet,” by Alison Benjamin, The Guardian. “Allison Vitalis is using vouchers to buy oranges, apples and plums at her local market in east London. Last week, she exchanged her vouchers, each worth £1, for cassava, plantain and yellow yam at the neighbouring Caribbean stall.”

Retaking the Moral High Ground in the Fight Against Poverty,” by James Abro, The Nation. “If a nation has the ways and means to solve a social problem that is devastating millions of its citizens’ lives, but it fails to act, doesn’t that mean resolving the problem depends more on moral values than on coming up with new economic policies?”

Congress Fails to Act on Poverty,” by Russell Berman, The Atlantic. "Tackling income inequality and poverty, or at least talking about it, has become a priority for leaders in both parties, as politicians respond to the increasingly populist bent of the American electorate. Lawmakers have quite a long way to go, according to a new report that details the dismal record Congress amassed on issues related to poverty in 2014.”

Are Overcrowded Prisons Unconstitutional?” by Leon Neyfakh, Slate. “The ongoing effort to address America’s mass incarceration problem has thus far focused on lawmaking. There are bills working their way through legislatures around the country that would reduce the severity of drug sentences, allow certain inmates to leave prison early by completing rehabilitation programs, and allow judges to be more lenient in doling out punishment. Advocates for reform have placed far less emphasis on the potential role of the appellate courts—institutions that have a long history of identifying systemic problems in American society and using their legal authority to force change, from Brown v. Board of Education to Gideon v. Wainwright.”

Budget Reconciliation Explained Through Chutes And Ladders,” by Ailsa Chang, NPR. “There's a word you're going to be hearing a lot as Congress tries to pass a budget this year: reconciliation. It's a procedural fast-track lawmakers get to use after they approve a budget. Republicans are hoping to repeal the Affordable Care Act — or, at least parts of it — through reconciliation, but they're not likely to win that game.”



Hunger in the News: Kenya Catholic Church, U.S. Anti-Hunger School Initiative, and the Caribbean

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Kenya’s Catholic church to fight hunger by farming its vast land reserves,” by Fredrick Nzwili, Religion News Services. “Drying livestock carcasses and anguished faces of hungry women and children have become a common feature here as droughts increase due to climate change. But now, in an effort to fight hunger, the Roman Catholic Church is making 3,000 acres of church-owned land available for commercial farming.”

Children wasting away as hunger hits 200,000 in Madagascar,” by The Guardian. “Clutching a small bag of corn in one hand, six-year-old Haova Toboha scratches the ground with the other in the hope of turning up stray kernels left from a UN food handout.”

Syria's war: 80% in poverty, life expectancy cut by 20 years, $200bn lost,” by The Associated Press via The Guardian. “The war in Syria has plunged 80% of its people into poverty, reduced life expectancy by 20 years, and led to massive economic losses estimated at over $200 billion since the conflict began in 2010, according to a UN-backed report.”

World Bank report: Break the cycle of poverty in region,” by The Jamaican Observer. “A new report by the World Bank is calling on Caribbean countries to rethink their policies in order to break the cycle of chronic poverty in the region.”

It's Time to Kick America's Mass Incarceration Addiction,” by Michael K. Williams, Opinion, Vice News. “America is addicted to mass incarceration. Our habit of locking away human beings is a particularly unseemly kind of addiction for a country that prides itself on freedom. The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than China, Russia, or Iran. Right now, America accounts for about 5 percent of the world's total population but is responsible for 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population. That amounts to nearly 2.4 million human beings.”

Anti-Hunger Initiative in High-Poverty Schools,” by Anne Marie Morgan, WVTF Public Radio. “U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joined Virginia’s governor and first lady to announce an $8.8 million federal grant for an anti-hunger initiative in some of the state’s high-poverty schools.”



Hunger in the News: Poverty in Latin America, Michelle Alexander, and Food Stamps


A regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

How Incarceration Infects a Community,” by Emily Von Hoffman, The Atlantic. "'I know a lot of people that’s been in jail. My dad, my uncle ... well, all my uncles. My cousins. But I’m my own person.’ Fifteen-year-old Christel is one of several individuals featured in the Frontline documentary Prison State, offering a compelling personal account of incarceration’s typically anonymous collateral damage. The documentary centers on Beecher Terrace, a majority African American neighborhood in east Louisville. Kentucky pays roughly $15 million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents of Beecher Terrace and the immediately surrounding neighborhoods, according to Frontline.”

Four Facts About Poverty in Latin America you Probably Didn't Know,” by Jamele Rigolini and Renos Vakis, The Huffington Post. “In 2010, Latin America set a new record: for the first time ever the region had more middle class people than poor. Historically deemed unequal and saddled with deeply-rooted pockets of poverty, a booming economy and shrinking income gap over the past decade pushed over 70 million people out of poverty -- twice the population of Canada. At the same time the middle class swelled to almost one-third of the total population. Fast forward four years and despite these dramatic advances, a fifth of five Latin Americans never left poverty, as we discovered in a recent study.”

Michelle Alexander: Roots of Today’s Mass Incarceration Crisis Date to Slavery, Jim Crow,” by Democracy Now! “As the Justice Department sheds new light on the racist criminal justice system in Ferguson, legal scholar Michelle Alexander looks at the historical roots of what she describes as "the new Jim Crow." From mass incarceration to police killings to the drug war, Alexander explores how the crisis is a nationwide issue facing communities of color.”

The terrible loneliness of growing up poor in Robert Putnam’s America,” by Emily Badger, The Washington Post. “Robert Putnam wants a show of hands of everyone in the room with a parent who graduated from college. In a packed Swarthmore College auditorium where the students have spilled onto the floor next to their backpacks, about 200 arms rise.”

Schools combat hunger by serving breakfast in class” by Benjamin Wood, The Salt Lake Tribune. “Shortly after 8:50 a.m. on March 3, 2015, students started trickling into Michele Brees' fifth-grade classroom at Copperview Elementary. They hung up their wet coats and lined up to grab a cereal bar, string cheese and juice out of a blue cooler placed by the door.”

This tool lets you try to end mass incarceration. But you'll have to focus on violent offenders,” by Dara Lind, Vox. “The US leads the world in incarceration, but most of its prisoners are in state prison. And a majority of state prisoners are serving sentences for violent crimes. That means that while states have made some progress in recent years in reducing their prison populations, it's going to be extremely difficult for that trend to continue indefinitely.”

Food stamp cuts pay for new policies to combat child hunger,” by Ned Resnikoff, AlJazeera America. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide more than $27 million to states and tribal nations to reduce child hunger, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday.”



Hunger in the News: Malcolm X, Child Poverty, World Food Program, and Prisons


A regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Malcolm X’s challenge to mass incarceration,” by Dan Berger, Al Jazeera America. “Fifty years ago today, assassins killed black power activist Malcolm X during a speech to the Organization for Afro-American Unity at New York City’s Audubon Ballroom. Although they ended the life of one of the 20th century’s most dynamic leaders, they did not kill his impact. His insights into racism and freedom are as necessary today as when he first spoke them. A half-century after his murder, Malcolm X may still be one of our best guides for making sense of American racism, the evil that once again roils the country in unrest.”

UN: Food Challenge At Worst Level Since World War II,” by Huffington Post via The Associated Press. “The World Food Program is confronting its worst challenge since World War II in trying to tackle five top-level humanitarian crises at the same time, the head of the U.N. agency said Friday.”

How Hunger Hurts Learning: Schools Seek to Feed Students’ Tummies and Minds,” by School News Network. “The list of ways hunger can affect a child's health is a long one. Chronic health issues like asthma, behavioral issues like anxiety and social issues like bullying are just a part of that list.”

One Thing Republicans and Democrats Are Starting to Work Together On (and It’s Not War),” by Zoe Carpenter, The Nation. “Could this be the year that lawmakers really begin to dismantle the system of mass incarceration that they have been building for decades? It seems conceivable, thanks to a surge in interest from elected officials at the state and federal level, as well as an “unlikely” coalition of left- and right-wing groups that announced its formation on Thursday. The Coalition for Public Safety, as the group is called, includes organizations like the Center for American Progress and the American Civil Liberties Union along with Tea Party-aligned FreedomWorks and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. It’s backed, in part, by Koch Industries.”

Mass Incarceration's Impact on Black and Latino Women and Children,” by Herron Keyon Gaston, Huffington Post. “Much of the public and scholarly discourse and activism around incarceration have focused almost entirely on Black and Latino males. Few studies have explored the devastating impact of incarceration on women. The fact of the matter is -- women, particularly Black and Hispanic women are disproportionately affected by incarceration.”

Ending poverty and hunger: how much do you know?” by Carla Kweifio-Okai, The Guardian. “As the deadline for the millennium development goals nears, test your knowledge of the issues surrounding the first of the eight targets.”

Study: Detroit worst big city for childhood poverty,” by Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News. “Detroit continues to have more children living in extreme poverty than any of the nation's 50 largest cities, according to a national report released Thursday.”


Hunger in the News: Nepal, Jeb Bush, Food Waste, Prisons, and Segregation

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Can Nepal achieve zero hunger in 10 years?The Guardian. “'Malnutrition rates in Nepal are among the highest in the world, especially in the mountainous western regions. Nearly a third of children under five are underweight,' according to Unicef, which will have wide-ranging impacts on the country."

Jeb Bush in Detroit: Americans have right to rise out of poverty,” by Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, Lansing Bureau. “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is contemplating a run for president, came to Detroit Wednesday afternoon to offer his vision of opportunity for the millions of Americans living on the edge of poverty.”

Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?” by Alana Semuels, The Atlantic. “Like many mothers raising children in Chicago’s housing projects in the 1990s and 2000s, Seitia Harris was afraid of the drugs and violence that were pervasive in the neighborhood where she lived, Altgeld Gardens on the city’s South Side. She made sure to provide her three children with every opportunity she could, taking them to ballet lessons, after-school academic programs, plays and activities around the city, encouraging them to work hard at school and stay away from drugs. But the specter of violence and poverty was hard to escape.”

Pope emphasizes right to food in address to experts seeking solutions to hunger, food waste,” by Colleen Barry, The Associated Press. “Pope Francis emphasized the right to food as fundamental in a video address Saturday to 500 experts starting work on a wide-ranging document aimed at raising awareness and proposing solutions to issues including hunger, obesity and food waste.”

A Republican Against Prisons,” by Chase Madar, The American Conservative. “Mass incarceration is a bad thing that we’ve become exceptionally good at in the United States. This dismal statistic may already be familiar: we are 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we lock up 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Our reliance on imprisonment as a tool of social policy is horrifying more and more people across the political spectrum.”

Hunger in the News: Child Hunger, Sundance, Latin America, and UN World Food Program

  BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

True Or False? Free And Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor,” by Will Huntsberry, NPR. “In the education world, you see this phrase all the time: "free and reduced-price lunch." What's the percentage at a given school? In a given district or state?”

We Must End Hunger in America, Starting With Child Hunger,” by Joel Berg, Moyers & Company. “Even though the United States is the wealthiest and most agriculturally abundant country in world history, food insecurity now ravages 49 million Americans — including nearly 16 million American children. This often-overlooked mass epidemic harms health, hampers education, traps families in poverty, fuels obesity and eviscerates hope, while sapping the US economy of $167.5 billion annually, according to the Center for American Progress.”

Sundance aims to provoke global discussion about poverty, hunger,” by Anne Wilson, The Salt Lake Tribune. “A group of teens in North Philadelphia, armed only with cellphones and iPads, have learned how to make their world at once bigger and smaller by sharing the lives of children their age in Nigeria, Kazakhstan and France.”

Hunger in Iraq: An interview with Chloe Cornish of the UN World Food Program,” by William Lambers. "The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is the lead agency providing food aid to starving Iraqis. Chloe Cornish, a WFP officer, recently visited Erbil City in Northern Iraq, where many civilians have fled for their lives. In the following interview, Cornish talks about the hunger emergency in Iraq and how WFP is helping these war victims."

Venezuela’s woes bring Latin America poverty reduction to a halt,” by Tom Murphy, Humanosphere. “After years of substantial improvements in Latin America’s poverty rates, a new report shows that since 2012 rates have stalled and that the number of people living in extreme poverty has increased.”

$77 billion a year to cut child poverty in half? A bargain, report says,” by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, The Christian Science Monitor. “When the Children’s Defense Fund went about putting together its latest report on child poverty in America, it did something new: It put a price tag on its proposals. To reduce child poverty by 60 percent in just a few years would cost $77 billion a year, it found."


Hunger in the News: Climate Change, Catholic Charities, and Poverty

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Iowa View: Climate change affects global challenges,” (Editorial) by Rev. Susan Guy, Special to the Des Moines Register. “When I was ordained more than 21 years ago, climate change was not an issue that was even remotely on my mind. Throughout my years of ministry in local churches and as an organizer, there was one key issue that occupied my heart and mind, and which led me to specific acts of charity and justice. That issue was hunger.”

Head of Catholic Charities USA leaves knowing talk on poverty shifting,” by Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service. “After a decade as president of Catholic Charities USA, Father Larry Snyder planned to step down Jan. 31 and return to his beloved Minnesota.”

12 Days, 12 Things You Can Do to Fight Poverty” by Greg Kaufmann, Moyers & Company. “BillMoyers.com is proud to collaborate with TalkPoverty.org as we focus on poverty coverage over the next two weeks. Every day, visit BillMoyers.com to discover a new action you can take to help turn the tide in the fight against poverty.”

Let’s Address the State of Food,” (Commentary) by Mark Bittman. New York Times. “The state of the union, food-wise, is not good. The best evidence is that more than 46.5 million Americans are receiving SNAP benefits – formerly food stamps – a number that has not changed much since 2013, when it reached its highest level ever.”

Poverty stems from unjust economic system, not big families, pope says,” by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service. “Families who have lots of children do not cause poverty, Pope Francis said. The main culprit is "an economic system that has removed the human person from its focus and has placed the god of money" as its priority instead, he said Jan. 21.”

Destiny’s story: 'Once you get in poverty, it’s kind of hard to get out,'” by Jenny Brundin, Colorado Public Radio. “Destiny Carney, 18, grew up in poverty and was often homeless but now leads classes at Project Voyce. The program helped Carney turn her life around.” 

Hunger in the News: Child Hunger, Refugees, Burundi and Mass Incarceration

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

Congress must end child hunger in America,” by William Lambers, The Courier-Journal. “It was President Harry Truman who said, "No nation is any healthier than its children." Yet, today almost 16 million children live in hunger in the United States.”

Fleeing war and poverty, refugees heading toward Italy abandoned at sea,” PBS News Hour. “Refugees fleeing war and poverty in North Africa and the Middle East often are forced to cross the Mediterranean sea in rickety, overcrowded boats. Recently, an increase in human smugglers abandoning these ships before reaching Europe have forced EU countries to take on these migrants and ships at unprecedented levels.”

Hunger Gnaws at Burundi's Soul,” by Hannah McNeish, Voice of America. “Recent studies indicate Africa's little, and little-known, country of Burundi is the hungriest place on earth. War, poverty and overpopulation have left up to two thirds of the residents with chronic food shortages, stunting people's growth physically and also professionally, while rising demands for scarce resources pose serious problems for Burundi's stability. In Ngozi province, in the north, charities are using a variety of methods to fight the war on hunger.”

This map shows which states led the way on America's drive toward mass incarceration,” by German Lopez, Vox. “Following the start of the war on drugs in the 1970s, America's prison population skyrocketed as the country locked up even the lowest-level drug offenders in hopes of tamping down on drug use and the crime wave of the 1960s through 1980s.”

Hunger in the News: High Incarceration Rate, Native Crops, and Peanut Butter

BlogphotoA regular, non-comprehensive roundup of current news links on hunger and poverty issues from around the Web.

A Different Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” by Alana Semuels, The Atlantic. “This neighborhood south of downtown is bleak, with empty parking lots fenced in by barbed wire, and skeletons of buildings covered in graffiti.”

The Steep Cost of America’s High Incarceration Rate” by Robert E. Rubin and Nicholas Turner, The Wall Street Journal. “One of us is a former Treasury secretary, the other directs a criminal-justice institute. But we’ve reached the same conclusions. America’s overreliance on incarceration is exacting excessive costs on individuals and communities, as well as on the national economy. Sentences are too long, and parole and probation policies too inflexible. There is too little rehabilitation in prison and inadequate support for life after prison.”

Solving Hunger in Ethiopia by Turning to Native Crops” by Amy Maxmen, Newsweek. “Dibaabish Jaboo kneads the pale, vegetative flesh of the enset plant, like her mother did, like her granddaughters do. When she’s finished, she bundles the plant’s thick, decomposing stalk into its 12-foot-long leaves along with spices and agents to help it ferment for a few weeks. Once it’s ready, she can store the bundle underground, or pound it into flour for bread or porridge.”

How peanut butter and jelly could help America's education system” by Benjamin Spoer, USA Today. “Those in the education world — parents, teachers, politicos alike — hear near-constant consternation about underperforming inner-city schools. We cannot seem to decide whether the teachers are unqualified, the curriculum is inappropriate or the budgets are too small. However, for many of these schools, there could be a simple way to improve academic performance. It's something we in the public health world call, in academic speak, a peanut butter sandwich.”

California drought brings smaller harvests, more hunger among farmworkers” by By Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News. “Here in the produce basket of the nation, the drought so dried out the farm economy that farmworkers depend on charity to fill their pantries.”

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