May 16, 2013
Fighting hunger means more than donating cans to a food drive, says Joel Berg, an expert on hunger and food security, and the head of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Hunger is a larger societal problem, and people need to change the way they think about it before they can begin to fight it.
Berg, the author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? (Seven Stories Press, 2008), writes in an article in the New York Nonprofit Press that volunteering once a year on the holidays is not enough to fight hunger either. With hopes of connecting people with ways they can fight food insecurity, Berg and NYCCAH have launched the Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service initiative. People interested in the new program can go to HungerVolunteer.org, where they will find downloadable toolkits for service work, as well as ways to match their own skills, interests, resources, and time availability. For example, Berg writes that it can make a greater difference for a graphic designer to help a soup kitchen design a new logo than for the person with those skills to volunteer to wash pots.
Berg writes that it is a fact that there is enough food in America for everyone. He highlights the extreme concentration of wealth in the city–there are 53 billionaires in New York City with a collective worth of $231.5 billion, a number four times the entire budget of the city of New York–and calls it “outrageous” that, considering this wealth, anyone in New York City goes hungry.