Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

283 posts categorized "Hunger in the News"

Hunger in the News: EITC, Child Nutrition, Mass Incarceration, and Gwyneth Paltrow

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

5 things to know about the Earned Income Tax Credit, a proven poverty reliever,” by Megan Verlee, Colorado Public Radio. “Quick -- name the country’s largest cash assistance programs for poor families. You probably guessed welfare and food stamps. But there’s a big one that most people overlook: the Earned Income Tax Credit.”

The Power of Nutrition formed to combat children’s nutrition,” by Eric Schroeder, Food Business News. “The World Bank Group and UNICEF are among a group of organizations that are teaming up to try to raise $1 billion to tackle problems with children’s nutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

Congress Must Hear the Cries of Hunger From Abroad,” by William Lambers, The Huffington Post. “As Congress debates the foreign aid budget, they should hear the cries of hunger from abroad. They should also listen to the echoes of history.”

John Legend launches campaign to end mass incarceration,” by Mesfin Fekadu, Associated Press via MSNBC. “John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration. ‘We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.’”

Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t understand how America’s poor live. But unless you’re poor, neither do you,” by Lisa Gustaveson, The Washington Post. “Last Thursday, Gwyneth Paltrow snapped a photo of $29 worth of groceries. It lit the Internet on fire.”

Hunger in the News: World Bank, Yemen, Global Food Security Act, and Crime Bills

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

Faith communities, World Bank find extreme poverty a common foe,” by Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service. “The World Bank and global faith leaders are joining together to end extreme poverty around the world by 2030. The effort brings together the influential faith community with a major U.S.-based institution that has committed billions of dollars to development work and can leverage billions more from private sector sources to continue a 25-year trend of declining poverty in the world's poorest nations.”

Are low-cost solutions the key to fixing global poverty?” by Marc Gunther, The Guardian. “About 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. Solar panels might help, but rural people don’t often have the cash to buy them, or the ability to access bank loans.”

Nevada wants to make "serial graffiti" a felony. This is how mass incarceration happens.” by Dara Lind, Vox. “It's hard to imagine a state legislator thinking, ‘I want to put so many more people behind bars that we have to reopen an old prison to hold them all.’ But this essentially what's happening in Nevada right now. The state is weighing 35 bills that would create new crimes or stiffen the penalties for existing ones.”

Fighting in Yemen is creating a humanitarian crisis,” by Hugh Naylor, The Washington Post. “The fighting in Yemen threatens to cause widespread hunger and thirst and displace huge numbers of people, creating another humanitarian disaster in a region already reeling from the crisis in Syria, according to analysts and aid workers.”

 “One in Six Households Can't Afford to Buy Food,” by Public News Service. “While Congress considers cuts to safety-net programs such as food stamps, a new report by the Food Research and Action Center shows millions of Americans still are struggling to put food on the table. The study, "How Hungry is America?" found one-in-six American homes admitted there were times in the past year when they couldn't afford to buy food.”

Global Food Security Act a Critical Step Forward in Ending Hunger,” by Daniel Speckhard, Roll Call. “If Congress passes the Global Food Security Act of 2015, it will be taking a critical step toward ending global hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime. Food security — and the underlying political, economic and environmental stability that make it possible — is a prerequisite for sustained development and stable societies. Yet there are several countries, even entire regions, that face the triple threat of conflict, climate change and vulnerability to natural disasters that threaten the food security and income stability of millions.”


Hunger in the News: Prisoners, Summer Lunch Program, Africa, and SNAP Benefits

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

Let's Give Child Hunger a Summer Vacation,” by Marian Wright Edelman, The Huffington Post. “Many children and families eagerly look forward to the end of the school year and the carefree days of summer, playing outside in the warm sun, splashing and swimming in pools and at beaches, and gathering with family and friends for backyard barbeques. But for more than 17 million children the end of school can be the end of certainty about where and when their next meal will come.”

Breakfast programs feed hunger, enhance learning in N.J. school districts, officials say,” by Brittany M. Wehner, South Jersey Times. “Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? New Jersey school districts are answering this question by providing breakfast to students in the beginning of their school day.”

WFP Chief: Throughout Africa, Hunger Grows From Familiar Roots,” by Anita Powell, Voice of America. “A large swath of Southern Africa has been hit by a double whammy of epic floods followed by a miserly drought -- a phenomenon that has affected countless people in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Meanwhile, the fledgling nation of South Sudan is in the throes of a major hunger crisis as conflict has pushed the country’s population to the brink of famine.”

U.S. pays a high price for having so many prisoners,” by Noah Smith, Commentary, Bloomberg News. “Imprisonment imposes a huge burden on the U.S. economy. First, it can cost more than $30,000 to keep a person in prison for a year. Next, there is the forgone income that prisoner would have earned had he or she been outside and working. Some of that gets made up in the form of forced prisoner labor, but even if we put aside the moral problem of using prisoners as slaves, it must be the case that this labor is being used suboptimally.”

The poor are treated like criminals everywhere, even at the grocery store,” by Jeanine Grant Lister, The Washington Post. “Want to see a look of pure hatred? Pull out an EBT card at the grocery store. Now that my kids are grown and gone, my Social Security check is enough to keep me from qualifying for government food benefits. But I remember well when we did qualify for a monthly EBT deposit, a whopping $22 — and that was before Congress cut SNAP benefits in November 2013. Like 70 percent of people receiving SNAP benefits, I couldn’t feed my family on that amount. But I remember the comments from middle-class people, the assumptions about me and my disability and what the poor should and shouldn’t be spending money on.”

Will Congress Let Hunger Hold Women Down?” by Margarette Purvis, CityLimits.org. “As Women's History Month fades into the rear view mirror, it's important that we ensure that the stories and heroism of all women be recognized and shared. In the end, there's nothing more heroic than a mom with very little, able to nurture and convince a child to dream and aspire to heights never before seen. That's why I find myself focused on Sara Amaya. There's no need to scour your history books for her name – you won't find it. Members of the House and Senate don't know her name either, but they're about to make decisions that will directly impact Sara Amaya and the countless women just like her.”


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."


Stay Connected

Bread for the World