Wednesday October 4
1:00 – 3:00pm
NYS Health Foundation
1385 Broadway, 23rd floor
This event will be livestreamed online
Chronic hunger and food insecurity trends across the U.S. have not changed, despite the rise of charity.
Food banks and food pantries were meant to be a stopgap measure, but manufacturing jobs never came back, recession followed, and the “emergency food system” became an industry. In Big Hunger The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America And Anti-Hunger Groups, author Andrew Fisher argues that many key anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. His research finds that efforts to end hunger, reduce obesity, and reform farm subsidies are compromised by corporate interests.
Join us on October 4th for a discussion with Andy about his research and findings, and hear a response from a panel of emergency food practitioners and academics.
Confirmed discussants (check back later for an updated list):
- Dr. Melony Samuels, Executive Director, Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger
- Lori Silverbush, Director, A Place at the Table
Funders are encouraged to bring anti-hunger grantees to learn with us
Co-sponsored by WhyHunger, CFF, and Philanthropy New York
More about Big Hunger
In Big Hunger, Andrew Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement. From one perspective, anti-hunger leaders have been extraordinarily effective. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a “hunger industrial complex” that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex. Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.
In 1994, Andy Fisher co-founded and led the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC), a first of its kind national alliance of hundreds of groups working on urban food access and local food. Fisher led CFSC as Executive Director for 17 years, creating and gaining momentum for the concept of community food security while building the food movement as a whole. He successfully led advocacy efforts and passage of crucial federal nutrition legislation to address food security, including the establishment of the Community Food Projects and Farm to School grants. Fisher is an expert on a variety of food system topics and tactics, including food policy councils, community food assessments, healthy corner stores, coalition building, and farm to cafeteria programs. Fisher is an activist, NGO consultant, and an adjunct teacher at Portland State University in Oregon. His book, Big Hunger, is the launch for a new vision for how to untangle corporate interests from food banks and the anti-hunger movement.