Anti-Hunger Advocates & WIC Come Together

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect low-income households that were already struggling with poverty and hunger before the health crisis. In just one week in June, nearly 2.7 million California residents did not have enough to eat, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. This includes more than 1.36 million households with children. In Los Angeles County, 1 in 5 people struggled with food insecurity before the pandemic, and that number has since risen to 1 in 4 county residents.

On Monday, August 2, 2021, PHFE WIC’s 8th Street WIC office hosted Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America as part of an 8,000-mile coast-to-coast journey this summer to shine a light on the continuing national hunger crisis, to meet with those working on the front lines of hunger, and to advocate for long-term public policy solutions to food insecurity.

Anti-hunger advocates from PHFE WIC, Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Hunger Action Los Angeles-HALA, LA Food Bank, CalFresh, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, The Annenberg Foundation, Hollywood Food Coalition, the LA Mayor’s office, LA County Office of Sustainability spoke to the press and joined a round table discussion about the barriers to accessing available anti-hunger programs, and systemic solutions.

Systemic Solutions

The American Families Plan, if passed by Congress, would make a huge investment in low-income families and children and dramatically decrease child poverty and hunger.

The re-introduced HOPE Act Bill would allow for the creation of a streamlined system to make it easier for people to apply for and access benefits through a single portal.

“During the pandemic, people who were already poor and hungry became poorer and hungrier, and people who just at the edge of poverty in the lower middle class became hungry…As bad as things are, we have not had mass starvation… why? Because the federal safety net programs stepped up and dramatically expanded. Charities are important, but it’s the government safety net that stood between us and mass starvation in America.”
–Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America

Click here to view the livestream of the press conference.