Annual Feast Is A Reminder of America's Hungry

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A client of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger food pantry fills up a box with food on July 24, 2013 in New York City. The food pantry assists thousands of qualifying New York residents. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

Last Thanksgiving about 46 million turkeys ended up on dinner tables across the country. That’s 736 million pounds of turkey meat.

But not every American has the option to choose what size bird they'll have or the number of sides they’ll eat in their Thanksgiving spread.

For many of the 47 million Americans on food stamps, Thanksgiving this year will be difficult, and made worse by cuts to SNAP assistance that began rolling out November 1. For America's hungry, the holiday may not be so bountiful.

Joel Berg is the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and author of “All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?” The Takeaway is also joined by Mary Coleman and Jennifer Peguero, two women who have experienced the difficulties of building a feast when there is little to go around.


Joel Berg, Mary Coleman and Jennifer Peguero

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman


Gianna Palmer

Comments [3]


I just don't think the large majority of Americans can understand what it is to be hungry. I hear the anger in Larry's written statement, and sadness too. Youngsters may also have dangerous, disconnected, reactions to their feelings of hunger, and underlying hurt. It is not right, and yet it is understandable. Negative consequences . . ..

Well fed American's are the ones with power, and powerful people rarely go hungry. It's so easy when your stomach is full to blame the people who stomachs are empty as if it's their own fault, and there goes another disconnection! One that hurts, and hurts repeatedly. It serves as its own, knock-out-punch. Negative consequences . . . ..

Our stressed, beleaguered, political climate is ripe for picking disconnections and inadequateness- ruined-fruit. Hopefully everyone can come to a more enlightened conclusion about the consequences of each action.

Nov. 29 2013 11:50 AM
Kim from San Francisco

Every Thanksgiving my husband and I make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. We are very fortunate and particularly lucky this year. To give thanks, we doubled the amount this year. When I finally get a job, I will give more.


Nov. 27 2013 03:31 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Knock Out Game is just the beginning of people who are hungry and angry...
I do not endorse the behavior, in fact the media has covered,"The Knock Out Game" horribly. The actual punch should never be shown. The Media needs to focus on the victim and interview only the victim and how horrible it is to be hit and knocked down.
What I am saying about hunger in America is: Hungry people will act out. Hey, I get grumpy if I miss a meal. I live in Bed Stuy and have heard kids talk about how they haven't eaten anything all day, and I am pretty sure they are not on a diet.

Nov. 27 2013 02:38 PM

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