Taking Action Against Hunger

By Margot Horwitz

The statistics about hunger in this country are startling: one in six Americans are hungry, and one
in eight people in Pennsylvania struggle with food insecurity (one in four in Philadelphia.)
Worse, these figures are up 50% from ten years ago—these facts are beyond frightening.

But we have an opportunity to act right now, according to Julie Zaebst, Policy Director of the
Coalition Against Hunger. At a time when Congress is about to act on the Farm Bill, every one
of us should contact our representative and implore him or her to protect SNAP (food stamps).
There are, not surprisingly, two different bills—House and Senate—and there should be intense
effort within the next week to insure that as little as possible is cut from the lifeline that literally
keeps people from starving.

We should also get involved in public policy issues by signing up with the Coalition and other
local groups to learn specific ways we can help fight food insecurity. Such advocacy will also
include reaching out to the 600,000 area children who are eligible for free or reduced priced
food—but who have not signed up for it.

Zaebst spoke on January 19 following the showing at Gratz College of a dramatic and
meaningful documentary, “A Place at the Table.” The film, which tells the powerful stories of
three American families and their struggle to feed their families, includes Philadelphians who
worry every day about survival. One of these local women, a “Witness to Hunger,” explored her
group’s efforts to persuade Congresspeople in Washington to take the matter seriously.

The afternoon was organized by the Old York Road Kehillah, the Coalition Against Hunger and
Mazon, and cosponsored by a coalition of groups including JSPAN. For further information

Jcr2hunger@gmail.com (Old York Road Kehillah)
www.hungercoalition.org (Coalition Against Hunger)
http://www.takepart.com/place-at-the-table (A Place at the Table)
http://mazon.org (Mazon)
http:///www.jewishphilly.org/page.aspx?id=2005069 (Mitzvah Food Project)
http://www.centerforhungerfreecommunities.org/ (Center for Hunger Free Communities