In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, sociologist, poverty expert and author Kathy Edin ($2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America) and Washington, DC area social entrepreneur Tom McDougall of 4P Foods have a powerful and timely discussion with Share Our Strength founders Billy and Debbie Shore about poverty in America. Kathy and Tom illustrate how our current systems – political, social, economic, geographic – keep poor people from succeeding. They argue for more equity in our social programs and a more dignified way of serving the poor. Kathy shares stunning statistics and touching anecdotes of the impoverished families with whom she has worked. When she asked one young girl what it was like to be hungry, her response was, “It feels like you want to be dead, because it’s peaceful when you’re dead.” Tom believes, “We can’t talk about fixing the food system unless we talk about money and politics… subsidies… institutional racism… the history of farming. … If we move the needle just a tad on food equity, it means we’re moving a lot of other needles along the way.” In Kathy’s work, she found that, “When it comes down to it, what people seem to want more than anything else is dignity. … but a lot of our social policies deny people that.” Hear their recommendations on what we can do as individuals and as a nation to improve these dire circumstances for the poor in America.
Listen and Learn:
• What ‘cash welfare’ means
• What happens to academic achievement when kids are hungry
• What food really costs when we account for the toll it takes on the environment and our health
• How the way poor people prepare food has changed
• How we can change the way we serve the poor
Resources and Mentions:
• No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
• 4P Foods: Many people in DC can only afford junk food. We think that is an injustice. What would happen if everyone had access to healthy, quality food? We’d like to find out. For every 10 shares we sell, we deliver 1 to our local food bank partners to help get great food to people who otherwise don’t have access to it – yet.
• DC Greens uses the power of partnerships to support food education, food access, and food policy in the nation’s capital.