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All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?

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Overview

With the Biting Wit of Super Size Me and the Passion of a lifelong activist, Joel Berg has his eye on the growing number of people who are forced to wait in lines at food pantries across the nation-the modern breadline. All You Can Eat reveals that hunger-one in eight Americans today is food insecure-is a problem as American as apple pie, and that, more and more, America is becoming a country where people not only have a hard time advancing, but often find themselves in quickand, working inexhaustibly and still not meeting the expenses of everyday living.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, spotlights domestic poverty and hunger in this book that has sharp words for politicians, charities and religious denominations. The author reveals how consistently the federal government has ignored the fact that 35.5 million Americans, including 12.6 million children, don't have enough to eat. Although local governments cared for hungry and poverty-stricken citizens in the pre-Depression years, contemporary politicos in Washington have alternately denied that hunger is a problem, then admitted its existence, then tried to eradicate it with programs that rarely last. Whether he is reasoning why the word hunger is better and more to-the-point than the government's term food insecure, pillorying hunger surveys that don't count the homeless or demonstrating how even well-meaning social services contribute to the problem, Berg is a passionate and articulate advocate. This book provides a range of practical solutions, but gets bogged down by an overwhelming amount of hard data and statistics, which may deter some readers from wanting to take a good-sized bite of it. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583228548
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/2008
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Hunger Amidst Plenty: A Problem as American as Apple Pie 13

Sect. I The Problem

Ch. 1 Who is Hungry in America?: The Politics of Measuring Hunger 25

Ch. 2 How Hunger Costs All of Us 45

Ch. 3 Why Brother (and Sister) Still Can't Spare a Dime: A Short History of Domestic Hunger 53

Ch. 4 The Tattered (But Still Existing) Federal Hunger Safety Net 83

Ch. 5 Let Them Eat Ramen Noodles: One Week Living on $28.30 of Food 99

Ch. 6 Are Americans Hungry - Or Fat? 111

Ch. 7 Dickens Revisited: Life in the New Gilded Age 127

Ch. 8 Let Them Eat Sound Bites: The Polarized Politics of Welfare Reform 157

Ch. 9 The Poverty Trap: Why It Is So Hard to Escape Poverty in America 175

Ch. 10 The Charity Myth 191

Ch. 11 How Media Ignores Hunger (Except During Holidays and Hurricanes) 217

Sect. II The Solution

Ch. 12 Here It Is: The Plan to End Domestic Hunger 237

Ch. 13 Bolstering Community Food Production and Marketing 259

Ch. 14 A New War on Poverty 275

Ch. 15 How All of Us (Including YOU) Can End Hunger in America 283

Appendix A Hunger and Poverty-Fighting Resources 295

Appendix B Revised Rules for Radical Centrists: Tips for Activists on How to Organize and Craft Messages for Successful Advocacy Campaigns 303

Acknowledgments 315

Notes 319

Index 341

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    A huge eye-opener

    This book looks at the current state of hunger in America. Written by an anti-hunger activist, and former government official, it is not a pretty picture.

    If food insecurity (the new euphemism for "hunger") is such a huge problem, then why are there so many obese African-Americans? Doesn't it show that they are getting more than enough food? What it really shows is that those whose food insecurity situation is bad, but not totally desperate, have to rely on cheaper high-calorie food that is full of chemicals and preservatives.

    Why don't inner-city residents buy more vegetables, even organic vegetables? Most inner-city neighborhoods don't have a supermarket, so the people have to rely on convenience stores, that will carry cheaper pre-processed foods, instead of organic vegetables. Also, if you are given a certain amount of money, and have to make it last an entire week, vegetables are rare, and expensive organic vegetables are simply not a possibility. Find out what your state gives food stamp recipients each week to live on, and see if you can do it.

    Another problem for inner-city residents is that the various government programs are administered by different agencies, which physically are nowhere near each other. It requires taking time off work, or finding child care, and getting on several buses, in order to go through several different sets of bureaucratic nonsense.

    Everyone knows someone who says they have seen a food stamp recipient buying lobster or caviar or something else very expensive with food stamps. That is highly unlikely, because the average inner-city recipient has no access to such items, and benefits are distributed on what look like regular debit cards, to reduce the stigma.

    What to do? Among other things, the author advocates putting all hunger programs together into one giant program. He also advocates making free school breakfasts available for all children, to reduce the stigma for children, and making healthy food much more available in the inner city.

    This book is a large eye-opener. It is full of practical solutions, and is very easy to read (even with the charts and graphs). It is very highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

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