Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

All You Can Eat

How Hungry is America?

by Joel Berg

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Finalist, 2008 Harry Chapin Media Awards

With the biting wit of Supersize Me’s Morgan Spurlock and the passion of a lifelong activist, Joel Berg has his eye on the growing number of people who are forced to wait in line at food pantries across the nation—the modern breadline. All You Can Eat reveals that hunger is a problem as American as apple pie, and shows what it is like when your income is not enough to cover rising housing and living costs and put food on the table.

In this book, Berg takes to task politicians who remain inactive; the media, which ignores hunger except during holidays and hurricanes; and the food industry, which makes fattening, artery-clogging fast food more accessible to the nation's poor than healthy fare. A spirited call to action, All You Can Eat shows how practical solutions for hungry Americans will ultimately benefit America's economy and all of its citizens.

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“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.”

“Hunger is a national disgrace in America. Joel Berg has, in a straightforward and provocative way, given all of us a framework with which to deal with it.”

“Joel Berg unmasks this invisible crisis in his well-researched book just as it threatens to get even worse. A must-read for policy makers and anyone interested in the well-being of tens of millions of Americans.”

“Joel Berg is, flat out, one of the boldest thinkers in the fight [against hunger], and All You Can Eat will prove it.”

All You Can Eat makes the powerful case that Americans have both a moral imperative and a collective self-interest to end hunger.”

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Labeled “Mister Frowny Pants” by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (on which he once appeared), JOEL BERG is the CEO of Hunger Free America, which the Nation called “one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation.” Berg wrote the decade’s definitive book on US hunger, All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? (Seven Stories Press, 2008). Playboy (which Berg reads only for the reviews) called the book “refreshing” for its “optimism . . . rationality and passion.” Berg has also published numerous op-eds, poems, and policy papers and was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Policy Analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute, two DC-based think tanks. Berg has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches on four continents and in thirty-seven states, from Maine to Alaska, while surviving moose attacks and volcanic eruptions. One audience member wrote, “Seeing Joel Berg speak in person is like watching the History Channel, C-Span, and Comedy Central all at once.”  Noted by City Limits magazine for his “trademark good-natured snarkiness,” Berg has been covered extensively by national and international media, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News, CNN, National Public Radio, The Kudlow ReportAll In with Chris Hayes, and the NBC Evening News, and quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and tons of obscure blogs. Berg has also been featured in three documentary films. Prior to joining Hunger Free America, Berg worked for eight years in senior executive service positions in Bill Clinton’s presidential administration, served on the Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition Team, and staffed the 1992 Bill Clinton for President campaign. While working for 13 years as a political campaign professional, Berg lived in Kansas, Alaska, New Jersey, Maine, Arkansas, and New York. He now resides in Brooklyn, New York but has yet to overdose on local, artisanal kale chips.