Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last Day

Today is the final day of the 2011 Hunger Challenge.

Let us know what this experience has meant to you! Leave a note on our Facebook wall or email us your story!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Only ONE MORE DAY of the 2011 Hunger Challenge

You’re coming around the home stretch – don’t give up! Are you feeling brain tired like Hunger Challenger Rachel?  Did you reach out to friends and family for support like Anneliesz?
How has your week been?  What did you think it would be like and how has it been different?

Let us know via twitter or our Facebook wall or by emailing us your story

Good luck tonight!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day Five

Tomorrow is KGO Radio Fights Hunger Day. They’ll be broadcasting live from local food banks, bringing their listeners stories and discussions about hunger in the Bay Area!

Petit Appetit blogger and 4th year Hunger Challenger, Lisa Barnes, and SFist editor and 1st time Hunger Challenger, Brock Keeling, will be sharing their experiences on air tomorrow afternoon. Be sure to tune in throughout the day to AM 810 to hear all the hunger-related stories and interviews.

These last days of the Hunger Challenge are the hardest, but the stories we are all sharing are worth so much in the effort to alleviate hunger in our community. Hang in there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hunger Challenge Hump Day

We are almost over the hump and halfway through the Hunger Challenge!

Please join us in a Hunger Challenge "Virtual Lunch" Tweet-Up TOMORROW! 

Thursday, September 15th: Noon - 1 pm (PST)

Sure, you may be eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich alone at your desk - but there are lots of other Hunger Challengers in the same situation. Let's get together virtually and have lunch! Here's what to do:
  1.  Sign into Twitter
  2. Enter the hashtag #HChal (we're using a different hashtag from the usual #HungerChallenge so there's more room to talk) into the search box. OR, if you're using Twitter apps like HootSuite, create a search stream for #HChal (if you need help, let us know)
  3. Starting at noon, we'll be asking questions and suggesting topics!
  4. Tweet using the #HChal hashtag to join the discussion and share your experiences, insights and ideas!

A lot of our challengers are starting to feel the pressure of a tight budget! Check out this great article on BlogHer which highlights some of our Hunger Challengers!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hunger Challenge Update

The Hunger Challenge is going strong! Everyone has done their shopping and experienced their first two days on the challenge. While reality has set in for many of our Challengers, there are so many great lessons being learned and so many great recipes being shared!

Here are some of our favorite blog posts:

Are you taking the challenge? Let us know how it’s going!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Hunger Challenge is ON!

How's it going? Check out posts and tweets from the 2011 Hunger Challengers. Just click on the links on the right-hand side of this page. 

To see what everyone's saying about the Hunger Challenge, check out this Twitter feed, or visit the Food Bank's Facebook page.

Taking the Challenge?

  • Post on Facebook daily about what you’re eating (or not able to eat). Or join the discussion on our FB page.
  • Tweet all about it – use the hashtag #HungerChallenge
  • Post pictures of your meals on your blog or Facebook 
  • Talk to your friends, families and co-workers about what you’re doing – they’ll want to listen
  • Support other Hunger Challengers by reading and commenting on their blogs

Still need to sign up for the Challenge? It's not too late! You can join at any time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sign up for the 2011 Hunger Challenge!

Think you could live on a food stamp budget - for a week or even a day? We invite you to sign up for the 2011 Hunger Challenge, which will take place September 11-17.

Throughout the year, we post news on this site about hunger and food stamps, so subscribe to our RSS feed to receive updates, too!

"Hunger and Children in America: a Slow and Steady Starvation"

ABC News has been running a series on hunger in America. This shocking story appeared on Good Morning America:
A little 2-year-old boy came to the hospital hungry, not just for dinner, but every day of his young life. He is smaller than he should be and his organs, including his brain, are not developing fully. And he lives in Boston, one of America's most prosperous cities.

Doctors at Boston Medical Center's Grow Clinic, which provides assistance to children diagnosed with "failure to thrive," say they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of children they treat who are dangerously thin.

"What's so hard is that a lot of families are working so hard," said Dr. Megan Sandel, an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at BMC. "They are working jobs. They are earning money and their dollars just don't go far enough."

That is life for nearly 15 million children living in poverty in the U.S., according to the National Center for Children in Poverty...Across the country, nearly 5.5 million children live in families that have lost homes to foreclosures and 8 million children live in families where at least one parent has lost a job, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.... READ MORE

Thursday, July 7, 2011

California ranks next to last in food stamp participation - and it's hurting our economy

The Sacramento News & Review reports on one woman's struggle to obtain food stamp assistance in California, following Monica Turner through "the food stamp process’s web of appointments and paperwork." Fixing the broken system could go a long way toward helping California's economy. Here's why:
Many Californians give up or don’t bother. As a result, the state leaves $4.9 billion in benefits on the table each year, money that could juice the economy by $8.7 billion in related activity.
Forces here and in the nation’s capital are now working hard to change the way people participate in the federal food-stamps program, known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Improving California’s participation could provide a potent injection for a sick economy, a booster shot that California could mainline straight into its corroded veins. At the same time, this elixir would also help people in need, people such as Turner, and provide a jackpot return on the investment.
At the moment, California faces some embarrassing statistics. Despite need, the state ranks next to last nationally in food-stamp participation. Less than half of those eligible in California enroll, compared to a national average of 75 percent. Read the entire article

Thursday, June 9, 2011

GOP plan guts food program

In this June 2, 2011, editorial in The Register Citizen, Rosa DeLauro lays out  the grim effects of a plan put forward in the U.S. House of Representatives:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps to feed more than 44 million Americans a day, 21 million of them kids. Put another way, one out of every seven Americans, and one out of every five children, is getting help. It is our country’s most important anti-hunger program.
Yet, under the budget put forward by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, this vital effort is at risk
Among the many drastic cuts included, the Republicans’ 2012 budget would slash SNAP by $127 billion — almost 20 percent — over the next 10 years. This could mean up to 10 million men, women, and children would be cut from the rolls and have to go hungry. The Republicans plan to convert SNAP into yet another underfunded block grant to the states, which could mean even larger cuts for American families.

Republicans argue that they are making these cuts because the cost of SNAP has increased in recent years. That is true due to simple math. SNAP helps feed those in economic need, and as the economy has stumbled, their numbers have grown.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, food stamp aid lifted more than 4.5 million Americans over the poverty line in 2009, including more than 2 million children and 200,000 seniors...Read more

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soaring Costs Force Some Renters To Choose Between Shelter and Food

In the Huffington Post, Yepoka Yeebo writes about an alarming trend - higher rents are eating up income that used to go to food:
Around 10 million American households -- or one in every four families that rent their homes -- could have to choose between paying rent, buying groceries or keeping current with bills, according to a report released Tuesday.
The number of households spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent and bills jumped by 2.6 million over the last decade, according to a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report. Economists generally consider "affordable" rent to cost about 30 percent of a tenant's income.
When housng costs hit certain levels, many Americans are forced to choose between rent and food. "In real terms, it means more people have less money to spend on household necessities such as food, health care, or savings," Eric Belsky, director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in the report. Households which spend 50 percent or more of their income on rent also spend almost 40 percent less on food and over 50 percent less on health care than households with more affordable rent. Read more

Thursday, March 31, 2011

NY Times' Mark Bittman Fasts to Protest Proposed Budget Cuts to Hunger Programs

New York Times food writer and author of the weekly Minimalist column is really going mimimal. He's joined a group protesting proposed Congressional budget cuts to hunger relief programs. Here is his Op-Ed about the fast:
I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry.
By doing so, I surprised myself; after all, I eat for a living. But the decision was easy after I spoke last week with David Beckmann, a reverend who is this year’s World Food Prize laureate. Our conversation turned, as so many about food do these days, to the poor.
Who are — once again — under attack, this time in the House budget bill, H.R. 1. The budget proposes cuts in the WIC program (which supports women, infants and children), in international food and health aid (18 million people would be immediately cut off from a much-needed food stream, and 4 million would lose access to malaria medicine) and in programs that aid farmers in underdeveloped countries. Food stamps are also being attacked, in the twisted “Welfare Reform 2011” bill. (There are other egregious maneuvers in H.R. 1, but I’m sticking to those related to food.)

These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts — they’d barely make a dent — will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now. And: The bill would increase defense spending... Read the entire article

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Food stamps: More Americans keep signing up

The Christian Science Monitor reports that food stamp participation continued to rise in December - the latest in a series of record-breaking months for the food stamp program:
As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is continuing to rise.
In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.
The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in October, an additional 289,737 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 14.67% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 16.98%.
Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 13.72% over the same period.
Read more

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One in Three Working Families Considered "Low Income"

The Wall Street Journal reported December 21, 2010:
Nearly one in three working families earned less than 200% of poverty line last year, as a bad economy pushed 250,000 families below that threshold, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data.

The recession’s effects extended beyond the millions who lost jobs, according to a report released Tuesday by the Working Poor Families Project, which researches and advocates for working families. Among those who were working, more than 10 million families earned less than 200% of the poverty level, which the researchers considered “low income.” The low-income threshold for a family of four with two children last year was $43,512.

“Working families are taking it hard during the great recession,” said Brandon Roberts, one of the report’s authors. “We’ve got a whole lot of middle-income families, middle-class families that have now fallen back into low-income working families.”
Read the full story here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Number of Americans relying on food stamps still on the rise - now at nearly 43 million

The Wall Street Journal notes the continuing rise of Americans relying on food stamps:
Some 42.9 million people collected food stamps last month, up 1.2% from the prior month and 16.2% higher than the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nationwide 14% of the population relied on food stamps as of September but in some states the percentage was much higher. In Washington, D.C., Mississippi and Tennessee – the states with the largest share of citizens receiving benefits – more than a fifth of the population in each was collecting food stamps.
In California, almost 3.5 million people count on food stamps - an uptick of 17.7% over September, 2009. Go here to read the entire article and see the individual stats for each state.