I was pleased last week to be invited on a panel of anti-hunger experts to address a gathering of the Westside Democratic Club. In the picture (from left to right) are panel moderator and attorney-activist, Ron Galperin; me; Frank Tamborello from Hunger Action LA; Matt Sharp from California Food Policy Advocates; and Michael Flood, head of the LA Regional Food Bank.
We covered a wide spread of topics ranging from why California (and a few other states) still finger-image clients collecting their food stamp (SNAP) entitlements; to the role that community based groups can play in fighting hunger from the ground up. The reality is that Los Angeles County is the “hunger capitol” of America and with enrollment in school lunch and food stamp programs below 50%, we are leaving vast amounts of federal monies on the table while at the same time losing the battle against hunger.
Bottom line for us: we need an alignment of public policies, the involvement of the schools, community groups, and the private sector to confront the new realities of epic hunger not seen since the Great Depression.