Hunger Action Month Way of the Day: Read a Book.

September 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

There are many wonderful books to inspire and educate you about hunger.  Here are our top pics:

Youth Books

The Lady in the Box, by Ann McGovern
A brother and sister help provide food to a homeless woman. As their mother notices missing pantry items, the family begins to understand the woman’s story and decides to volunteer in a soup kitchen.
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Tight Times, by Barbara Shook Hazen
Told from a young boy’s view, a family struggles with tight times and a job loss when he finds a hungry kitten in a dumpster.
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen, by Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan
On his day off from school, a young boy visits his Uncle who works at a soup kitchen.
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Adult Books

All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America, by Joel Berg
Executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Joel Berg provides in-depth analysis and discussion about the hunger and poverty crisis in America and how charities, government, media and the private sector advance and delay the end of domestic hunger.  All You Can Eat shows solution to the hunger problem and is a rallying cry for action.

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, by Mark Winne
Winne exposes the two Americas – the America that provides some with adequate healthy food, and the America with a broken food system that leaves the poor and a shrinking middle class hungry and food insecure.  Winne shares solutions that brings local healthy and organic foods within everyone’s financial reach.

Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill, by Daniel Imhoff
It may seem like just yesterday that the Farm Bill was passed, but it will come again for reauthorization and revisions sooner than you think. Get a history lesson of the challenges anti-hunger advocates faced with the last Farm Bill.  This book includes lots of great charts and graphics to explain this complex legislation in a way that is accessible to the novice activist.

Growing up Empty: The Hunger Epidemic in America, by Loretta Schwartz-nobel
Award winning advocacy journalist and author of Starving in the Shadow of Plenty, Loretta Shwartz-nobel reveals the pervasiveness of hunger across America, and shares heartbreaking stories of child hunger.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
What happens when an upper-class female tries to live in poverty? Following in the footsteps, undercover journalism books, “Black Like Me” and “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell [what are you trying to say here?], Nickel and Dimed explains that life isn’t fair for the poor, and the system doesn’t help.  What the book looses in authenticity of the poverty experience, it gains in providing some level of understanding and empathy for the day-to-day struggles low-income Americans face.

School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program, by Susan Levine
If you think that the national School Lunch program was primarily created to address child hunger, think again. This book shares the complex and contradictory policies of the School Lunch program and how it continues to frustrate anti-hunger advocates.

Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement, by Janet Poppendieck
Sweet Charity takes a critical look at the growth of charity based anti-hunger programs and initiatives and its effect on the nation’s willingness and ability to address root causes of hunger and poverty. According to Janet Poppenieck, charity relief, while emotionally and socially satisfying to their contributors, comes at a cost and the cost is too big for charities to shoulder alone.

The Third Freedom, by Senator George McGovern
Senator George McGovern, uses a practical, no-nonsense delivery style to introduce new advocates to anti-hunger policy. The Third Freedom proposes a five–point strategy to end hunger at home and abroad, including suggestions for reforming WIC, SNAP and other domestic poverty relief programs.

The Working Poor: Invisible in America, by David K. Shipler
Shipler analyzes the lives of working Americans struggling to live day-to-day and the setbacks they encounter in trying to lift themselves out of poverty. This data and research heavy account of modern poverty creates a narrative that puts heavy blame on a political and cultural system that sets the poor up for failure.  “The Working Poor: Invisible in America” argues that with the right solutions in place workers can live in dignity with living wages without risking employer profitability.  The lack of diversity in the types of poverty portrayed (i.e. rural poverty vs. urban) and lack of stories of poor individuals with great skills, neat homes, and no history of abuse or drug use should give you pause.

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§ 2 Responses to Hunger Action Month Way of the Day: Read a Book.

  • David Davenport says:

    Great list..I encourage readers to also pick-up

    Begging for Change:
    The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient, and Rewarding for All

    by Robert Egger.

    knowledge is just a starting point…action requires new thinking and boldness of action.

  • Thank you for the book recommendation, David.

    – Lisa Goddard
    Online Marketing Director
    Capital Area Food Bank of Texas

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