The Food Issues Book Club: How Hungry is America - Concluding Thoughts

Another book done!  Do you feel accomplished?  I do!

In Joel Berg's How Hungry is America, Berg argues strongly that the government must intervene in the national issue of Hunger - that such intervention is in fact the only way that hunger will be solved.  My gut reaction is to say that's nonsense.  And yet, how often have I said that if people are homeless, if children are starving, if teenagers are murdering, we have failed as a society?  Government is nothing more than a societal structure.  It serves to reason that if society is failing, government is failing.  As I've mentioned before, Berg is also in a much better position to determine what the government is capable of accomplishing.

Overall I found this book thought-provoking and compelling.  I did find myself wishing over and over again that it had been updated - the last eight years have been tumultuous to say the least for the US's poor and hungry.  I do think, though, that the bigger points, the non-number-specific issues addressed have remained unchanged for many, many years.  The reading has reinforced and better informed ideas that I have held regarding the New Orleans community's poor and hungry, and how to best address those issues.  I also greatly appreciate that the white privileged man did not shy away from noting the pitfalls of activism guided by the white and privileged "on behalf of" the poor and often non-white.

Despite out-of-date figures, I highly recommend this book to any and all who have a genuine interest in addressing issues of food insecurity at any level - from community to federal policy.

Did you read How Hungry is America?  What are your feelings and impressions?  Please share them in the comments!  And I'll see you tomorrow when we begin looking at March's Food Issues Book Club reading: Michele Simon's Appetite for Profit!

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