Hunger Fighter Interview: Megan Emme
New Media Producer Jessie Chen interviewed Revolution Hunger’s own Megan Emme about here incredible work fighting hunger. Check it out—this is what RevHunger is all about!
Growing Solutions To Hunger in San Francisco
By Sophie Solomon, member of the Revolution Hunger Outreach Team in San Francisco
Last January, I started volunteering at The Free Farm, a community garden in San Francisco. Each Saturday I would help harvest produce grown on-site at the Free Farm and then work at the Farm Stand, where we would give out the produce to members of the surrounding community. The people who stopped by the farm came from all different backgrounds. There was the Italian woman living next door with her ninety year old mother, and the man who stopped by and shared his latest trial-and-error gardening stories.
There were also the people who looked like they were in desperate need of food. And while it was obvious that these people were hungry, I couldn’t make a judgement as to whether the other people who seemed to be okay needed food. I learned at The Free Farm that no matter how well-off a person may seem, we never know their true situations. It isn’t right to make a judgment about someone’s need based on a rash assumption. After all, 197,000 people in San Francisco live at or below the poverty line, more than one-seventh of all San Francisco citizens.
From my experience with The Free Farm I learned about Urban Sprouts’ Summer Sprouts Summer Camp Program at Garden for the Environment, another garden in San Francisco. It was in this program that I learned more about food deserts, areas where healthy, affordable food is hard to find. The Hunters Point/Bayview Area in San Francisco is a food desert, there are no local grocery stores where residents have easy, affordable access to healthy food.
With both my work at The Free Farm and Urban Sprouts I have learned a lot about the issue of hunger in San Francisco. Before these experiences I had no idea how huge of an issue it was and after going through them I realized that I wanted to do my part to help fight hunger. Through working with Revolution Hunger I hope to be able to share the knowledge I learned through my experiences with other teens in San Francisco and hopefully inspire them to help in the fight against hunger!
Everyone knows that hunger is a big issue. But what can teens do about it? At Revolution Hunger, our answer is: everything!
On RevolutionHunger.org, you can take a personality quiz to find out what type of Hunger Fighter you are. From there, you can create your account and get started fighting hunger. Whatever your talents are, you can use them to fight hunger. From videos to volunteering, the Revolution Hunger Campaign does it all!
Revolution Hunger isn’t just for teens, teens are also our leaders! Our youth teams have made awesome videos, educated high school classes about hunger, and volunteered in the community. And we’ve been fighting hunger all across America.
So get started fighting hunger your way. Join us at RevolutionHunger.org now!
Hunger in Illinois
Guest Post By Kaleigh Friend
At Central Illinois Foodbank, we distribute food to soup kitchens and food pantries in 21 counties which we collect from grocery stores, manufacturers, and local donations, as well as food that comes from Feeding America and USDA. Last year we distributed over 8 MILLION pounds of food to the agencies we work with- all on a staff of just 14 people.
Hunger is an issue that effects people in all walks of life. Here in central Illinois, we know that specifically in the children population, 1 in 4 kids don’t know where their next meal will come from. As our area is largely a rural population, there may be many miles between grocery stores and the issue of hunger is stigmatized and kept quiet.
Kaleigh Friend is the Public Relations Manager at Central Illinois Foodbank
How does a the Foodbank work?
This is a question I didn’t fully understand the answer to when I began working here. However, this flowchart does a pretty good job of simplifying and explaining the process.
Of course, there are other pieces to the process, but this is the big picture.
Hope this helps you better understand what we do!
Record Number of Minnesotans Seek Food Help
I recently read about the landscape of the hunger scene in Minnesota. In 2011 we reached a record number of Minnesotans needing assistance, to feed themselves and their families. In fact, more than the population of Duluth and Minneapolis combined are on food stamps. Though this fact is unsettling, the amount of people who began using food shelves this is year was dramatically lower than in previous years. Down to 9.8 percent from 21.8%. These numbers show a step in the right direction, but also show a continuation of the recent rend.
Many families in Minnesota are having a hard time regaining economic standing since the recession. This problem is the source for many families struggle against hunger. I believe that the many problems such as; the unemployment issue, need to be addressed before these numbers can begin to decline. Even as I look around at my peers I see it has become increasingly common to have an unemployed parent, or a need for some form of government assistance.
In the articles I checked out, many volunteers and food service coordinators were worried that the Status quo, being the increased need for food help, may become the norm. But I know that we all can do something to change this situation! At Revolution Hunger, we are striving to find a way to integrate the hunger fight into the daily lives of everyone. We want to inspire a lasting change, one that each of us can contribute to in our own unique way!
Alexcia Jellum is the Twin Cities New Media Producer for the Revolution Hunger Campaign. Alexcia is a senior at Central High School. She wants to Major in communications and minor in film, an is a firm believer that creativity can have a profound impact.