Background Briefing: November 22, 2018


Feeding the Hungry on Thanksgiving

We begin on this Thanksgiving as families and friends gather around the table for the traditional holiday feast, and look into the uncomfortable subject of hunger in America and speak with Zuani Villarreal, the Director of Communications for Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization.  As many Americans volunteer today to feed turkey dinners to the homeless and former President Obama works at a food bank in Chicago, we address the need to feed 41 million Americans who are struggling with hunger including nearly 13 million children.  And while 58% of food insecure households participate in government programs like SNAP, the National School Lunch Program and WIC, there are relentless efforts on the part of Republicans to cut back on these programs in spite of the fact that 1 in 8 American households cannot provide enough food for their members. And since over 45% of households in the United States are headed by women who are the sole breadwinners, households with children led by single mothers experience the highest rates of food insecurity. In addition about a quarter of food-insecure households report incomes that make them ineligible for any form of federal food assistance. Meanwhile every year Americans waste 72 billion pounds of food, much of which ends up in landfills.


What We Can Be Thankful For

Then on this Thanksgiving we will explore the notion of what we can be thankful for and speak with Stephan Schwartz, the editor of the daily web publication The which concentrates on trends that will shape the future as we look for positive signs on the horizon in this dark period of hatred and division deliberately brought about by a minority government which is aggressively destroying programs and institutions the majority of American need and support. The author of “The 8 Laws of Change”, Stephan Schwartz outlines the mega-trends shaping a world under threat by climate change which Trump and his backers are refusing to acknowledge let alone deal with. And again in terms of the malignant and malevolent misrule by a tyranny of the minority, we explore the underlying anxiety which animates Trump’s base that he riles up with racist dog-whistles as he shamelessly scapegoats minorities, and that is the future trend that simply being born white will no longer confer privilege.