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Five Minutes with Andrew Fisher

Five Minutes with Andrew Fisher

World Hunger Day on May 28th reminds us to consider the causes of chronic hunger and what we can do to overcome them. Andrew Fisher who has worked in the anti-hunger field for twenty-five years, has led successful efforts to gain passage of multiple pieces of federal food and nutrition legislation. In his new book, Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups, he takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.

Why is this book important now?

Big Hunger contributes to the explanation of why Trump got elected in the Rustbelt states of OH, MI, WA, and PA. During the past few decades, economic inequality has surged dramatically, driven by stagnating wages. At the same time, the charitable food sector has become ever more institutionalized. This is no coincidence, as anti-hunger groups worked with corporations to build up a neoliberal/small government approach to addressing hunger through food charity.  Trump’s victory in the Rustbelt states of PA, OH, MI, and WI was a reaction to economic insecurity. By failing to organize around wages and jobs—and perpetuating dependency on free food and food stamps—which are stigmatizing- the anti-hunger community has further embedded economic insecurities, and contributed to Trump’s victory.