Hunger Solutions

We would like to thank Joel Berg for speaking at Clayton Books on March 14 and at the Food Bank on March 16. Even if you missed the event, be sure to read the book. Below are Joel’s facts for California and his ideas for solving hunger in America.

THE FACTS: California
? According to the USDA, from 2005 to 2007, more than ten percent of California residents were hungry or at risk for hunger – and that was before the recent economic crisis. High food prices and skyrocketing unemployment have only made things worse, as millions of additional Americans have been forced to join the lines at soup kitchens and food pantries in California and across the country.
? In 2006, California ranked last in food stamp participation among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a 2008 USDA report. (Note: The Federal Food Stamp Program was recently re-named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.)
? At last tally, in 2007, 36.2 million Americans lived in homes that couldn’t afford enough food – including more than 12 million children.
? According to a Harvard study, hunger costs our country an estimated $90 billion per year in decreased worker productivity, impaired educational performance, and increased health care spending.

? Reform, streamline, yet increase the purchasing power of more than a dozen existing federal government nutrition programs, like food stamps and school meals.
? Provide universal, free school breakfasts in classrooms to all students, regardless of family income.
? Implement a national plan to increase living wage jobs and slash poverty.
? Give charities the resources they need to fill in the gaps after government has done its job.

To learn more, read the book and visit

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  1. imee says

    Give charities the resources they need to fill in the gaps after government has done its job. -That is probably one of my favorites. I don’t think it’s just the government who should help people–people should help people too. My family still gets by and sometimes we have a little extra food that we can share with friends and neighbors who might need it more than we do.