Food Deserts, Social Entrepreneurs at Yale, NYC Community Gardens, Fighting Hunger Through the Media

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

World Population Day: Addressing Food Deserts in the Land of Plenty


n-FOOD-DESERTS-large570From just-squeezed juices to artisan sandwiches to colorful bunches of fresh-picked vegetables, nutritious dietary offerings have never been so bountiful or convenient for affluent Americans. They can legitimately browse for gourmet-quality dinners inside local supermarkets as well as convenience stores or trendy “small box” neighborhood groceries.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for some 23.5 million largely underserved U.S. residents who live in “food deserts,” areas where grocery stores are absent and food options frequently range from fast food to corner mini-marts, where chips, soda pop, candy, cakes and snack packs are more likely to line the shelves than fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and meat; whole-grain bread, pasta and cereal; or high-quality dairy and all-fruit juice drinks. Many food desert residents, without access to foodstuffs that allow them to eat three full, nutritious meals a day, regularly lack food security.

Read the full article on Huffington Post.

 Social Enterprise & Food Justice (hi-lights)

Social entrepreneurs Jessamyn W. Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen and Brahm Ahmadi, co-founder of People’s Grocery and People’s Community Market discuss running mission-driven companies in urban communities. Event moderated by Mark Bomford, Director of the Yale Sustainable Food Program.

Watch the Video on YouTube.

Survey Shows Majority of NYC Community Gardens Grow Food, Compost

garden01-537x402With the ever-increasing interest in local food and urban agriculture, it’s easy to understand the growing popularity of community gardens. A new survey from GrowNYC shows that New York City’s community gardens are helping to create more sustainable neighborhoods. Of the gardens surveyed, a whopping 80 percent produce food for their community, 65 percent compost, and 43 partner with at least one school!

Read the full story on Inhabitat.

Hunger Free NC: WRAL Fights Hunger With Marketing Blitz

North Carolina has an invisible hunger problem.

But WRAL and Radio One Raleigh are hoping to change that by creating awareness about the issue and raising funds for community hunger relief. WRAL is Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate while Radio One Raleigh is the leading regional urban music specialist.

“This is about using the power of the media for good,” says Steven Hammel, WRAL’s general manager.


Watch the campaign and read the full story on

Fresh Food Focus at Food Pantrys, USDA Increases Healthy Food Access to Low Income Families, Food Bank Myths

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Debunking 5 Common Myths About Food Banks

foodsecurityMAINIt’s a hard reality to face, but currently millions of people across North America are experiencing some form of food deprivation or food insecurity. Stigma is still attached to those who must use food banks to obtain a sufficient quantity of nutritious food.

Myth #5: The number of people using food banks is declining.We’d all like this to be true, but it’s not, sadly enough. According to HungerCounts 2014, food banks are used by a wide range of Canadians, including children and families, single people, and workers. The Hunger in America 2014 study shows that poverty remains intractable, with 247,000 local residents turned to The Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “While the recession has ended, this study indicates that more people are food-insecure than were four years ago, when the last Hunger in America study was conducted,” says Sullivan. “We must continue to expand our programs and provide the resources for more meals in our community.”

Read the full story on Paste Magazine.

Fresh ideas — and foods — at food pantries

greenhouse_26foodbanks-1_businessOpen Door is among the many food pantries across the state that are adding walk-in refrigerators, freezers, and even gardens to provide healthier foods, spending thousands of dollars to remodel facilities long configured to distribute cans and boxes of processed foods.

Open Door, for example, installed a walk-in cooler in March to hold hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables and constructed an adjacent room that will soon be fitted with sinks and stainless steel tables so workers can sort, wash, and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables as soon as they are delivered.

CNN special program: “Feeding America’s most vulnerable children.” Focuses on Bridgeport, CT, and features Rudd Center Director Marlene Schwartz among the school nutrition experts interviewed.

Read the full story on CNN Money.

USDA working to increase low-income families’ access to healthier foods


Americans on food stamps spent a record $18.8 million at farmers markets and local farm stands last year, a roughly sixfold increase since 2008, according to Concannon. Some of that increase was due to low-income families having more access to fresh produce.



Top consumer brands pledge to halve food waste by 2025

“It is a tragedy that up to 2 billion tons of food produced around the world is lost or wasted never making it on to a plate,” said Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, whose products range from Magnum ice creams to Dove cosmetics.

“At a time of growing food insecurity and climate change, we can’t afford to let this continue.”



Madeleine Albright on Food Insecurity, Bangladesh as Model for U.S.?, Technology & Food Insecurity

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.


Private sector plays role in food security

dr-madeleine-k-albrightFood security is as much a moral and political issue as it is defined by markets and international agreements, and businesses have an important contribution to make by using their know-how to increase efficiency in the global agricultural market, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said during the keynote address at AgriVision 2015, a conference that facilitates an informed discussion at a strategic level on current and future concerns in the protein food chain. 

Read more on Yahoo Finance


Cities Of Service Launches New “Community Tables” Blueprint To Support Municipalities To Provide Summer Meals To Youth In Need

The Cities of Service Community Tables blueprint is part of an anti-hunger initiative the ConAgra Foods Foundation will launch later this year to advance communities’ efforts to address hunger in their own backyards. The Community Tables blueprint outlines steps required for success and urges cities to work with citizen volunteers who can provide critical support to schools and community organizations by canvassing and performing outreach, helping to prepare and serve meals, and providing enrichment activities for children — so that more youth benefit from an important resource.

Read the full story on MarketWatch.


A Look Inside Boston’s New ‘Expired’ Food Supermarket

ht_expired_supermarket_02_mm_150624_16x9_992“At the lower economic rungs particularly, people are forced into bad decisions due to economics because calories are cheap and nutrients are expensive. The foundation of Daily Table was to try to figure out how on earth do we deliver to these one in six Americans an affordable, nutritious diet?” Rauch said. “And the obvious answer was, ‘Well, why don’t we try to utilize some of this excess food which we can get donated that’s perfectly wholesome and healthy?’”

Read the full story on Yahoo News.


From famine to food basket: how Bangladesh became a model for reducing hunger

bangladeshA recent UN report on global hunger highlights Bangladesh – a onetime food basket case – for having cut chronic hunger by more than half since 2000. 

Four decades ago, the newly formed and desperately poor South Asian nation of Bangladesh saw its already-high levels of extreme poverty and chronic hunger skyrocket with floods, leading to the Bangladesh famine of 1974. 

Read the full story on the Christian Science Monitor.



Apps and Maps Harnessed to Address Food Insecurity

This is the story of how two different nonprofits are adapting a technology framework to reduce food insecurity. 1Family 1Restaurant (1F1R) in California has created a web-based mobile app to connect restaurants to individual food bank donors to feed insecure families. The other nonprofit, Capital Area Food Bank in D.C., is utilizing data mapping to find hungry families that are in the greater suburban area. According to statistics on the 1F1R site, one in six people in America may feel the impact of food insecurity.

Read the full story on Non Profit Quarterly.

NYC Food Bank Shortage, Tackling Campus Food Waste, Greensboro’s Food Deserts, #HungerFreeSummer

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

The cupboard is bare: NYC food banks running out of stock

new-york-1More than a third of New York State’s food pantries have had to turn away people in need because they have run out of supplies. Food banks have been demanding an additional $16 million to replenish their stock.An estimated 1.4 million NY state citizens rely on food banks.

According to the Food Bank for New York City, about 2.6 million people (out of a total population of 8.5 million), have trouble affording food throughout NYC.


Read the full story on RT Network.


Why are people with jobs going hungry?
by Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO of Feed Projects on CBC

102746456-lbl.530x298The promise of a meritocracy is a simple one: Each individual will be compensated in proportion to his or her labor. The abilities, skillsets and opportunities of these individuals may vary, but each can rest assured knowing that honest, hard work will amount to a life in which one’s daily needs are met, with potential for a better future. In a country that promises opportunity, shouldn’t someone who is working hard—sometimes even at multiple jobs—have the assurance of access to healthy food for his or her family?

Read the full commentary by Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO of Feed Projects on CNBC

Bringing Fruit To The Doorsteps Of Greensboro’s Food Deserts
by WUNC, Public Radio

strawberriesn_rKing calls his mobile market a “grocery store on wheels.” It is a mobile trailer unit surrounded by tents that offers fresh fruits, vegetables, tilapia and even healthy smoothies every Wednesday to Greensboro residents who are suffering from food insecurity.

Read the full story on WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio

Food Waste on Campus
by The Current, UC Santa Barbara 

ucsb-global-food-fellows-kate-parkinson-emilie-woodA far less common practice: Waiting outside a restaurant to weigh all the food that gets tossed out after the diners are done. But that’s exactly how UC Santa Barbara seniors Emilie Wood and Kate Parkinson spent their weekend brunch periods at the campus dining commons, every Saturday and Sunday alike, throughout spring quarter.

The pair has in fact been working much of the academic year to assess and reduce food waste on campus in their shared role as UCSB’s inaugural UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) Fellows. A third GFI fellow, Rachel Rouse, also a UCSB graduating senior, is studying food insecurity and access among the student populations.

Read the full story on UC Santa Barbara’s The Current

Kid President Partners With ConAgra To Fight Child Hunger

kid-presidentKid President (born Robbie Novak) is using his summer vacation to help other kids who are battling hunger during what should be the most carefree time of year. Partnering with ConAgra, he’s hosting “Tell-A-Thon”s all summer, where people young and old can talk about their efforts to combat hunger in their communities and other topics meant to raise awareness about this issue.

Read this story about Kid President’s campaign on PR Newser or visit Kid President’s website.