A Staggering Number of Americans Go Hungry Every Day. Things Could Get Worse Under Trump.


THANKSGIVING, A holiday that many Americans use to reflect and be thankful. And this week, we have a lot to think about. Thanks to a computer scientist, we can contemplate an election recount; thanks to Kanye West, we can ponder black men and mental health; thanks to this talented dog, we can muse upon the amusing absurdity of the Mannequin Challenge; thanks to Native American teens, we can consider the real history behind Thanksgiving. Me? I’ll be thinking and thanking and wishin’ and hopin’… and then going to the movies. —Dodai Stewart

TODAY IN…

THE ILLUSION OF SAFETY 📎

Some Americans have started to wear safety pins on their clothing as a gesture of allyship with people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community. The problem? Even though fashion can be a powerful form of protest, there are many reasons this gesture doesn’t qualify.

TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES ⚠️

2016 has been the deadliest year on record for trans homicide. And that number, like the numbers every year before, is likely an underestimation. What does a Donald Trump presidency mean for these Americans? A trans woman speaks out.

LONG DISTANCE CALLS 📞

How a phone conversation with the president of Argentina is the first of what might be a crapload of potential conflicts of interest for an international real estate developer who’s about to become commander in chief of the most powerful nation on earth. Good times.

GOING ALONG FOR THE RIDE 🐎

Meet Pennie, Pinky, KB, and Brittaney: the black cowgirls bucking rodeo trends.

THE READ

Thanksgiving tends to make people think about hunger. Food pantries report a spike in volunteering around the holidays, donations generally go up, and rich people are photographed wearing hairnets and dishing out mashed potatoes.

But when interest dries up, people stay hungry. This past September, nearly a third of the food pantries and soup kitchens in New York City reported that they had turned people away. They cited two reasons: either they weren’t able to prepare nutritious enough meals, or they simply ran out of food altogether.

According to the latest report from the Food Bank of New York City, 42% of pantries across the city also said they had to reduce the number of meals they packed into bags for people to take home with them, for the same reason: there just wasn’t enough food to go around. And you can see the same pattern of demand in reports from food pantries across the country.

The math behind this crisis is pretty simple—and brutal. In 2013, a set of automatic reductions to a federal food assistance program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) left people with less money to spend on food. An additional round of cuts to the program in 2014 was one of the only things Democrats and Republicans actually agreed on that year.

This is what the cycle of hunger looks like in the United States, and with president-elect Donald Trump heading to the White House in January and House Speaker Paul Ryan pulling the strings on the federal budget, further reductions to food assistance are on the agenda. Read more.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CULTURAL TRADITION OF MAN CANDY 👀

Side dish! Check out this brief history—going back one hundred years—of famous men taking off their shirts. The first paragraph is simply delicious, and the meaty piece just keeps getting juicier as you go. Enjoy.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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3 Responses to A Staggering Number of Americans Go Hungry Every Day. Things Could Get Worse Under Trump.

  1. eslkevin says:

    Dear Kevin,

    Many of us at NPP have been thinking since the election about how divided our country is – and as for so many others, those divisions extend to our own friends and families, and in some cases to our Thanksgiving tables.

    As a federal budget organization, our role is and will continue to be providing facts and analyses that help people understand our nation’s priorities. But numbers aren’t all we need to understand. Just as important are our values and priorities. And as we know now more than ever, sometimes these diverge wildly.

    We’ve been thinking about how to talk about our priorities and how – or whether it’s even possible –to bridge those divides.

    This past Friday, we held a community meeting to discuss the election results. We were grateful to have the participation and facilitation by a longtime NPP friend and former board member, Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, the Senior Pastor at the Haydenville Congregational Church in Haydenville, Massachusetts.

    An audience member asked the question so many of us have been thinking about: how do I talk to my friends and family who voted the other way?

    Assuming this is someone you care about, this may be very difficult.

    Share this image on Facebook or Twitter.

    Rev. Ayvazian’s suggestion was simple, in three steps:

    If divisive subjects come up, first, you acknowledge the other person’s perspective: “Many people agree with you.”
    Then, speak your truth: “I don’t agree. Here’s why—”.
    Then, you “bracket” the conversation and agree to disagree: “We aren’t likely to convince each other. Let’s talk for 5 minutes and then agree to end it there.”

    If we are going to bridge what divides us, it won’t happen in a single conversation, but we can start by acknowledging what pulls us apart without letting it end the conversation forever. This takes fortitude but leaves the door open to a dialogue that can influence hearts and minds and may lead to shared understanding.

    If you’re up for a more in-depth conversation, there is a series of questions designed to enhance mutual understanding from The New York Times’ Run-Up podcast here.

    Good luck out there.

  2. eslkevin says:

    Kevin –
    This is a simple message: THANK YOU!
    Thank you for defending the Amazon with us. Thank you for standing up for indigenous rights and helping so many to see that we can’t protect the Amazon without advancing the rights and territories of indigenous peoples. Each year we’re able to expand our work with indigenous allies to protect millions of acres of pristine Amazon rainforest – thanks to you.
    Over the past twenty years you have made Amazon Watch what we are today. Millions of you have taken action, and you have donated millions of dollars to our work. Even more importantly, millions of you have connected to each other and to our allies in defense of rights, territories and justice.
    We all owe an extreme debt of gratitude to our indigenous brothers and sisters on the front lines. From Standing Rock to the Peruvian Amazon, communities are facing down oil companies at this very moment. For generations, they have defended their sacred natural areas against the many forces that threaten Mother Earth. They will never stop, and neither will we, because future generations and our collective future are counting on us.
    We know that the coming year will bring new challenges and even new opportunities. We will face them together. We will not give up and we will not go back!
    Thank you for standing with us at this critical time! Let’s continue to stand together for a brighter future!
    With deep gratitude and hope,

    The staff and board of Amazon Watch

  3. eslkevin says:

    Dear Kevin,
    This week, people around the United States will gather together to share a meal and give thanks with their friends and family. In the midst of our year-end hustle and bustle, many of us welcome the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to pause, recharge, and spend time with the people we love most.
    But this, of course, is no ordinary year. For many of us, especially those of us in vulnerable communities, it’s a time of great uncertainty, anxiety, and even fear.
    Here at the Story of Stuff Project, we’d normally be suggesting ways for you and your loved ones to avoid the frenzy of Black Friday, our country’s high holy day of consumerism. But in times like these, we believe we’re called to do more — to open our hearts and gather as a Community in a way we never have before.
    As we gather with our families tomorrow, we’ll be thinking about the hundreds of dedicated, brave water protectors camped at Standing Rock, North Dakota — the largest Native convergence in over a century. Just this past Monday, as authorities try to make way for the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, these peaceful protestors were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water hoses — in freezing temperatures, and on tribal lands that our government previously guaranteed would be protected. Nearly 20 protesters were taken to the hospital. What a disgraceful way to treat the native peoples of our country.
    This Thanksgiving, as we offer words of thanks for all we’ve been blessed with, we also acknowledge the many people who are not at the table with us. People like the those gathered at Standing Rock, who continue the fight for their right to clean water.
    If you’d like to join us in setting a larger table this Thanksgiving, here is a Mi’Kmaq prayer that serves as a simple yet powerful acknowledgement of our shared humanity:
    “Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people.
    Creator, open our hearts to provide and protect for all children of the earth.
    Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people.
    Creator, open our hearts to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.
    Creator, open our hearts to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.
    Thank you for the gifts of this day and every day.”
    Many of us will be surrounded by loved ones and a warm meal this Thursday. Let’s not take that for granted — on Thanksgiving, or any other day. We at The Story of Stuff Project will continue to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable communities of our country, like the Standing Rock Sioux, who are fighting for a more sustainable, healthy and just planet.
    In the coming days, we’ll be sharing more ways you can Stand with Standing Rock. But for today, we wish you and your family a warm and meaningful holiday.
    Natalie and Shana, on behalf of the whole team at The Story of Stuff Project

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