The Osgood Files, CBS Radio • Aug. 6, 2014
This is Dave Ross, in for Charles Osgood, on the CBS Radio Network.
America doesn’t have a hunger problem. The official term is “food insecurity”. Continue reading “America’s New Face of Hunger”
National Geographic • August 2014
On a gold-gray morning in Mitchell County, Iowa, Christina Dreier sends her son, Keagan, to school without breakfast. He is three years old, barrel-chested, and stubborn, and usually refuses to eat the free meal he qualifies for at preschool. Faced with a dwindling pantry, Dreier has decided to try some tough love: If she sends Keagan to school hungry, maybe he’ll eat the free breakfast, which will leave more food at home for lunch. Continue reading “The New Face of Hunger”
“Leonard Lopate Show,” WNYC • July 28, 2014
Tracie McMillan looks at the face of hunger in this country and why millions of working Americans are struggling to feed their families.
“Radio Times,” WHYY – Philadelphia • July 16, 2014
Perhaps the most devastating aspect of living in poverty is being “food insecure,” a term devised by the government to describe those who are not always certain that they will have access to food. 15 percent of Americans are food insecure, and in Pennsylvania, that number is 12.5 percent, according to statistics from the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center. And the face of hunger is changing, with seemingly comfortable, suburban families needing to visit donation-based food pantry’s in order to make ends meet. Today, we look at hunger in the suburbs with TRACIE McMILLAN, Continue reading “Hunger in the suburbs”
National Geographic Daily News Online • July 16, 2014
Her face was small and pitiful: a brown-eyed, blond-curled toddler, eyes darting, lying on a doctor’s table. First we saw her belly, rounder than her skinny legs would suggest, prodded by a physician. And then the camera pulled back, showing the filthy, caked bottoms of her feet. Continue reading “Shift to ‘Food Insecurity’ Creates Startling New Picture of Hunger in America”
The Washington Post has a sobering piece up this morning: Hunger among college kids is now so common that more than a hundred schools have established food banks on-campus for students.
First, I was appalled. And then I remembered: I could have used one in school, too.
I’ve long had a running joke for use in polite circles: That if I hadn’t been nannying for a kind and wealthy family in Soho, where I ate dinner with them four nights a week, I would have developed scurvy. I relied on those meals. As Tara Bahrampour reports:
“Between paying rent, paying utilities and then trying to buy food, that’s where we see the most insecurity because that’s the most flexible,” said Monica Gray, director of programs at the College Success Foundation-District of Columbia, which helps low-income high school students go to college.
Food’s the flexible thing in the budget, and so it falls by the wayside. Tuition can’t be changed; rent can’t be changed; utilities can’t be changed. But you can always eat less.
And so I did. Even with my four meals a week, I simply didn’t go grocery shopping because doing so meant spending all the money I had on-hand. Instead I ate piece-meal; I made do with bagels and canned shakes from the bodega. I got so thin that sitting on hard surfaces became uncomfortable. So did sleeping on my side, even on a mattress. Friends started telling me I needed to eat more.
Twenty years ago, I was an unusual case. I was a working-class transplant in a rich kid school, stumbling my way through college. I thought it was normal to drop 20 pounds in a year.
It is a damn shame that today, my college-years hunger wouldn’t be unusual at all.