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Hunger and Abundance

May 20, 2008

There are 64 billionaires in New York City and yet 1 in 5 children lives in a food-insecure household.

The recent economic crisis has further worsened the problem of hunger in the “land of plenty.”

“Downturn leaves food pantries bare” proclaimed a recent headline in Am-NY. The article highlighted the increased need and decreased supplies in food pantries throughout New York at the same time as state and local budgets cut funds to these programs.

As Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, explained, for food pantries: “It’s gone from bad to worse to worser.” Berg also stated that, as a result of the current situation, “[p]eople are suffering more.”

On the other hand, despite the increased need for food pantries and soup kitchens, the New York Times recently found that Americans waste an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption. This amounts to about a pound of food per American per day.

“We’re not talking about table scraps,” said Berg, explaining the extent of wasted food in the United States. “We’re talking about a pan of lasagna that was never served.”

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