According to a new study from the group Feeding America, 46 million Americans—that comes to about one in seven people—are reliant on food bank or meal service charity programs. Their “Hunger in America” study found that a quarter of all military families use food banks and that 65 percent of homes that rely on food banks have a child or a family member over the age of 60. As this story notes, some food banks have seen an increase in numbers of people following cuts to food assistance programs like food stamps (or SNAP as the program is now known). Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken told USA Today, “Hunger exists in literally every county in America. It's an urban problem, it's a suburban problem, and it's a rural problem” ... Discuss
As part of an annual speech addressing world crises, Pope Francis discussed the issue of abortion, saying it is evidence of a “throwaway culture” that doesn’t value life. In the speech, he said,
We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed 'the throwaway culture’ … For example, it is frightful even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.
The Pope also spoke on topics including caring for the elderly, preventing child exploitation, protection for migrants and fighting world hunger. He then turned his attention to the persecution of the Christian church in places like the Middle East, Nigeria and Mali, encouraging believers to stay strong in the face of violence and discrimination: "We must never cease to do good, even when it is difficult and demanding, and when we endure acts of intolerance if not genuine persecution” ... Discuss
As part of an effort to raise awareness about the amount of money that the average person on food stamps has to live on, this week, Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich is spending just $4.50 a day on food. Not only is September Hunger Action Month, but next week, lawmakers in Washington will discuss possibly cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance food stamps program by nearly $40 billion over the next decade. Shaich, who has been posting updates on his LinkedIn blog, wrote about the difficulties of trying to buy any healthy foods on a budget of just $31.50 a week. The CEO said that the experiment has allowed him to recognize the questions facing millions of Americans each day. “When is my next meal? How much food is left in my cabinet? Will it get me through the week? What should I spend my remaining few dollars on? What would I eat if I had no budget at all?" … Discuss
The team of volunteers at the Metro Food Distribution warehouse in Queens, New York, had trouble keeping up with the demand for food packages that are given to families in need. This video shows how Toyota used their “TPS” efficiency production system to help the team work together faster and more effectively, serving needy families. And as a bonus, Toyota said they will donate one meal to the food bank for every view the video receives, up to 250,000 views—a number the video hit in the first two days it went live. Well done, Internet … Discuss
Panera restaurants in the St. Louis area will begin experimenting with new pay-what-you-want pricing for their Turkey Chili in a Bread Bowl. But beyond just a marketing ploy, the Meal of Shared Responsibility is actually a way for the restaurant chain to encourage customers to help give to those in need.
Here’s how it works: Any amount above the suggested $5.89 price will go toward the meals of customers who couldn’t pay and to St. Louis-area hunger programs. The idea is that those in genuine need of a good meal (the chili contains about a day's worth of nutrition), can get a free bowl of chili, and other generous customers will help offset the cost … Discuss