Archive for the 'Hunger' Category

PB & J: Poverty, Bread and Justice, A Jewish Teen Summit on Hunger

By Joshua Chasan from Seattle, Washington, on his experiences during the PB&J conference.  Photo at Kayam Organic Farm.

When I was preparing to come to Washington, DC, for PB & J I really tried to get myself into a business mindset.  I wanted to be mentally prepared for a lot of learning and the serious nature of the topic of hunger.  Beyond that, I really didn’t know what else to expect.

Haiti’s Orphans are Still in Crisis. Where’s the Aid When They Need It?

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Today’s heart-breaking New York Times story about Haiti’s orphans is a painful reminder of the earthquake’s enduring devastation. The article offers a harrowing portrait of Daphne, a 14-year-old girl who watched her mother’s mangled body get carted away in a wheelbarrow from a shattered marketplace. Daphne then lived in a makeshift orphanage founded by Frades—a grassroots collective that specializes in microloans and began supporting abandoned and orphaned children after the earthquake. Daphne was just beginning to feel at home until she was claimed by a distant relative.

Fighting Obesity and Food Insecurity, One Click at a Time

A long-time reader of The Jew and the Carrot, it’s easy for me to see the importance and power of conversations within the Jewish community regarding eating, nutrition, food politics, and sustainability. However, the Jewish imperative for justice does not allow us to stop at environmental or personal levels. Rather, we have to continue our pursuit of justice to ensure that everyone has access to fresh, seasonal produce, healthy food options, and the skills to prepare healthy meals. The Nourishing Kitchen of New York City is an organization working to do just that for the East Harlem community.

Farming Can Save Haiti if Congress Acts Now

Cross-posted on Food Forever The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

“If $1 billion of the $11 billion pledged by international donors was put toward agriculture, the world could watch Haiti not only feed itself, but export billions,” said Haiti’s presidential candidate Charles Henri Baker in the Montreal Gazette’s feature “Can Farming Save Haiti?.”

A future in which Haiti is not only self-sufficient, but is exporting goods sounds great, right? Tell Congress to help make it happen.

Five Questions Monsanto Needs to Answer about its Seed Donation to Haiti

By AJWS Director of Advocacy Timi Gerson. Cross-posted on Civil Eats and Food Forever — the AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Monsanto has donated $4 million in seeds to Haiti, sending 60 tons of conventional hybrid corn and vegetable seed, followed by 70 more tons of corn seed last week with an additional 345 tons of corn seed to come during the next year. Yet the number one recommendation of a recent report by Catholic Relief Services on post-earthquake Haiti is to focus on local seed fairs and not to introduce new or improved varieties at this time.

Some tough questions need to be asked and answered before we’ll know whether or not Monsanto’s donation will help or hurt long-term efforts to rebuild food sufficiency and sovereignty in Haiti. Here are five of them:

Growing Food Justice How Going Local Can Help Feed the World

How does the food movement intersect with issues of poverty? For the hundred or so participants at the Growing Food Justice event last night we got a little taste of some of the issues and what we can do about it. The event was sponsored by the AJWS-Avodah partnership and was co-sponsored by Hazon. They brought together three activists who are fighting in very different ways to prevent hunger in New York City.

Wanted: A Holistic Approach to Food Security and HIV/AIDS Prevention

Cross-posted on Food Foreverthe AJWS food justice blog.

Food aid, nutrition, AIDSit’s all connected. Ruth Messinger’s recent piece on and Huffington Post poses a response to this week’s New York Times article that paints a stark picture for the future of Uganda and the global fight against AIDS. Despite the incredible achievements of U.S. foreign aid in combating the AIDS epidemic, advocates and health providers are worried that the U.S. is giving this fight a cold shoulder. Messinger calls upon leaders to take a good hard look at the consequences of privileging cost effective interventions for malaria over expensive treatment for HIV/AIDS. Rather than addressing health problems in isolation, what we need, of course, is a holistic approach to strengthening health systems, aid distribution and food sovereignty all at once. Policy-wise, supporting the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act (S. 1524) to promote global development, good governance and a reduction of poverty and hunger is critical.

Weighing in on the Food Production Debate

By Josh Berkman, cross-posted on From the Ground–the blog of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Over the last week, an important discussion has emerged in the blogosphere about the best ways for hungry nations to produce food. The debate began with a piece by Wellesley professor Robert Paarlberg, published in Foreign Affairs. Paarlberg argues that sluggish food productionrather than price explosionis responsible for food insecurity in the Global South and that the only way to produce enough food is through advanced technology, increased chemical use and genetically modified seeds. He marginalizes organic farming as quaint and unrealistic as a solution. It’s time to stop rejecting biotech and industrial food production, Paarlberg claims, and realize that it is the only way forward.

Growing Food Justice: How going local can help feed our cityand the world.

As Shavuot approaches and we reflect on the significance of harvest festivals in contemporary (urban) times, the AJWS-AVODAH Partnership is hosting an interactive program on hunger in NYC and what you can do about it! If you are in the NYC area you should definitely check out this event.

Date: Wednesday, May 12th

Time: Light dinner and registration at 6:30pm, program at 7pm sharp

Place: The Commons on Atlantic, in Downtown Brooklyn

Address: 388 Atlantic Ave (map)

To register: Click here

Speakers include:

Maimonides meets Christ: Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz visits St. Andrew Lutheran Church



On April 18, my co-steering committee member Sylvia Frankel and I were invited to speak to the congregation of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Beaverton, Oregon, a nearby city most famous for being the home of Nike. It was an opportunity to address the congregation for one of a series of learning and study sessions; this one was called Food and Spirituality from a Jewish Perspective.

About 25 people attended, including Lead Pastor Mark Brocker and Associate Pastor Robyn Hartwig, and members of the St. Andrew Green Team, a group of congregants who work on sustainability issues within the St. Andrew community.

Getting Food Off the Shelves and Into IDPs’ Bellies

Hunger in Somalia

Cross-posted on From the Groundthe blog of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

In Mogadishu, store shelves are full of food but the bellies of civilians are not. An article in IRN today reported that the Somali government has asked the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to release food stocks in Mogadishu for distribution to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are chronically hungry.

Watch Live Tonight: LA Hunger Seder 2010


Bobbi Rubinstein is a publicist, journalist and green activist.  She’s chair of the Valley Beth Shalom Green Team and co-founder of Netiya: The Los Angeles Jewish Coalition on Food and Environmental Justice Issues

Tonight at 7pm Pacific Time, Angelenos will ask a fifth question:  Why on this night are millions of people going hungry?

With 1 in every 8 Angelenos experiencing food insecurity and 1 in 10 Angelenos using a food bank in 2009, Los Angeles is now known as the “hunger capital” of the United States.

Jewish Groups Fight “Food Deserts”


Check out this great article in the L.A. Times about the Progressive Jewish Alliance organizing a tour of food deserts in Los Angeles. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Jewish community groups aim to broaden the growing local and national campaigns to attract more supermarkets to poor neighborhoods, where limited access to healthful food has been linked to obesity, diabetes and other diseases. Programs are sprouting up in Louisiana, New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”

Read more here.

ten plagues

Thanks to Rabbi Eliav Bock, Director of Ramah Outdoor Adventure (Ramah Outdoors) for sharing these thoughts related to Passover, his community in Colorado and the work of the Jewish Food Movement. Read on for his Ten Plagues Facing Our Modern Way of Eating and Relating to Food and the complimentary Dayenu that you can adapt for your own seders…

It is the month of Nissan and spring is in the air. If I was living on a farm here in Colorado, I would be plowing the fields, spreading manure, and getting ready to plant our first spring vegetables. Sadly I do not live in such close proximity with the land. Instead, I live in a house in Metro Denver and would not be able to fit a tractor through the door that leads to my back yard.

No, this time of year is a time when many of us living urban lives do not even stop and appreciate the effort that farmers throughout the country and throughout the northern hemisphere are making to ensure that we in America have delicious food to eat. (In a future post, I will write about the farmer with whom we are contracting to bring fresh local food to camp. She did spend last week preparing her fields. But more on that in a week or two. . . .)