Hunger Pains

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? (Seven Stories Press, 2008), discusses the annual hunger survey for NYC.


Joel Berg

Comments [14]

Agnieszka C. from Forest Hills, NY

I am a polish immigrant who has been naturalized in the past couple of years. My mother, my sister, and I have been here for close to 20 years now. She has been a housekeeper for the 13 years we had resided here illegally and she remains one now even after she received her citizenship. She still finds limited opportunities in the kind of employment she can receive. We have returned to visit last summer and she has come to regret moving to America for the purpose of a better life and better opportunities. She feels she could have done better economically if she would have stayed there, as well as have retained a better quality of life.
My brothers have moved to America about 10 years ago. They stay here in hopes for the opportunity to gain citizenship but have been finding it to becoming more and more discouraging, especially after the Bush immigration reforms. It has become troublesome knowing that if they leave now, they won't have to opportunity to come, potentially breaking our family apart again. In their situation, they are not given a fair opportunity socially and economically and have their prospects inhibited by their immigrant status. It is becoming exceedingly propitious for them to go back to Poland.
I would like to know what kind of agenda Obama has in regards to immigrations and immigrant rights/benefits. I find it hard to find information, mainly because these issues have been overshadowed by the economic crisis and other imminent issues.

Nov. 26 2008 12:35 PM
Nicholas from Bronx

Quit my job in July, before the bombshell of the financial crisis, without a solid position lined-up afterwards. Have been waiting for callbacks and human resources nightmares to end for past three months, but had a nice break from work and had a chance to decompress from the frustrations of my last job. The new job starts Monday, just in time for the holiday season and I don't have miss Thanksgiving to cover the holiday.

Nov. 26 2008 11:51 AM
triny hertzberg from Nyack,NY

It would be far more respectful to use the term people with low incomes than low income people. None of us wish to be defined by our statistical status.

Nov. 26 2008 10:47 AM
Moishe from Rockland

No, David, it isn't the Jews' fault. FDR and Johnson weren't Jewish, you dope. Big government over interference in what's supposed to be our free market kept us in a depression for 15 years in the '30s, forced banks since at least 1977 to give loans to otherwise ineligible people or face the justice department, put us 50 trillion dollars into debt for just 2 of the thousands of federal programs-soc. sec. & medicare. Taking money from the private sector ostensibly because some people should be GIVEN, medical coverage, schooling, loans, housing, etc. and then creating & having this imperfect private sector/free market pay for a huge bureaucracy, millions of workers to give to these "unfortunate souls" has failed miserably, with no one nor entity taking responsibility in sight.

Nov. 26 2008 10:42 AM
Kate Perry from Brooklyn

When I am feeling sorry for myself - and believe me I have so little reason...I say gratitude and not regret is my mantra.
I was touched and shocked by this program - so many people struggling. This program made me want to do something.
My life is immeasurably richer thanks to WNYC

Nov. 26 2008 10:34 AM
Jared from East Village

Hi. I was in Grand Central Terminal last night around 7 pm and it was heartbreaking to see the legion of homeless living in the lower level, in the restroom, and going through the garbage, eating refuse from the bins.
I called the BRC and left a voicemail.
I called 311 which connected me to the Police and to an Outreach Center.
I told the outreach center to bring some sandwiches, but they demurred, saying that they do outreach daily in GCT. It seems their role is to tell visibly homeless folks about city services, including mental health. I told them that they were needed now when they were there and it was cold out and they were hungry and they'd probably get a more attentive reception, but they seemed to pooh-pooh that.
The homeless situation in the subways, GCT, and Penn Station is the worse I've seen in over ten years. And this is still November!

Nov. 26 2008 10:31 AM
Moiz Kapadia from NJ

Great point Lola.

I'd say this to those people who feel insecure about getting food stamps: your government just spent $700 billion dollars on a bank, and has been spending $X billion dollars (X because the price keeps getting higher) on a war.

Please go feed yourself and your family.

Nov. 26 2008 10:24 AM
david from NYC

The hassidic community are the biggest culprits of food stamp & welfare fraud in this city and our precious city for political reasons, lets this particular community get away with it while you see them with there fur coats waiting on the welfare line with six children, while their husbands own businesses in the diamond and jewelry industry.

Nov. 26 2008 10:23 AM
Lola from Canada

Sorry but I'm really tired of people saying that healthy foods are more expensive than sugary-unhealthy ones.

Bananas, potatoes, squash, carrots, eggs, and many more fruits and veggies are extremely cheap. Sugar cereal, processed foods, chips, meats are expensive. The real difference is that you have to spend time preparing the fruits and vegetables contrary to the processed foods.

So maybe the issue is time, not price.

Nov. 26 2008 10:14 AM
Andy from NYC

Re Farmers Markets and Food Stamps: I am fairly certain that the one near 57th st and 9th does not take them either.

Nov. 26 2008 10:14 AM
Norman from NYC

A friend of mine lost his job 3 months ago, and applied for food stamps to the Human Resources Administration office. They insisted that he get more documents from another government agency, which the other agency didn't send him. He's living off funds from relatives and food pantries.

Social workers told me that the Human Resources Administration is simply denying (or delaying) benefits to people who are legally entitled to them, even though they are violating state and federal deadlines.

Is this true? Does your guest know?

Nov. 26 2008 10:13 AM
Gary from UWS


How does the guest reconcile the explosion in obesity?

Nov. 26 2008 10:13 AM
Tamar Haspel from Cape Cod

The least expensive, most filling foods are also the most healthful. Dried beans and brown rice are much less expensive per calorie than even the cheapest junk food.

Nov. 26 2008 10:11 AM
Nanette De Cillis from good old Brooklyn

Hello Brian, Joel and All,

If I don't get a chance to listen in, I want to throw my comment into the ring of thankfulness.

As a potential aarp member, I have to say that it seems like Jack La Lane and my 93 year old dad were right:

Health is something to be tankful for everyday.

Not only does it keep you out of the awful mess called our health care system, it mignals that a person has probably had many good meals. Hunger is a tragedy we can avoid by making changes in policy and awareness. I'm sure Joel knows great programs - how about adding (more) jobs that "move food" onto tables that really need it? Bring back barter - a good meal for the family, in exchange for helping hands.......remember who's President Elect now.

Anyway, I do think that thankfulness is in the eye of the beholder, and the more we broaden our vision to encompass more than just our own family table, the more we create that kind of change....

Anyway, I'm incredibly thankful for anyone who feels like extracting whatever from this email - !

Thank you Brian and Company for ongoing great dialogue in the era of spin!

Happy holidays.

Nov. 26 2008 10:04 AM

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