Hunger in the Suburbs

Hunger in the Suburbs
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It seems hard to believe that in the world's most affluent country, where farmers are paid millions of dollars not to produce food, hunger is a growing epidemic. Foodbanks throughout the country continue to report a tremendous rise in the demand for their services. Hungry families struggle to feed themselves in their middle class neighborhoods.

The newly poor are victims of job loss, illness and misfortune and learn to survive by harvesting the wasted food and resources of suburbia from dumpsters and unharvested produce from farms. Residents convince restaurants and supermarkets to donate food so that the hungry won't starve. At one site, volunteers cook the contributions and serve lunch to more than 200 people a day.

In Seattle, a program is created to bring farmers and hungry families together. “Food is wasted in this country,” an organizer explains. "Farmers plow food under. It doesn’t pay for them to pick the irregularly sized vegetables. We’ve been feeding hundreds of people with leftovers. Anyone who is willing to pick the crop can take away all they can carry."

Hunger in the Suburbs sheds light on what some hungry Americans are doing to feed themselves. Their ideas may inspire more communities to create innovative local solutions.

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Jon Alpert