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The Hungrr® character and the campaign. ©2006 – 2021 Owen Plotkin Founder, Hungrr, LLC.
HUNGRR INTERVIEW 2007
Not too much has changed for the better since I gave this interview years ago. These issues still need to be addressed. Check it out.
ALEX ROSENBLATT :What do you believe are the root causes of hunger and food insecurity in America?
OWEN PLOTKIN: Illiteracy. Poor public education. Loss of manufacturing jobs in the US. Low minimum wages in most states. Food stamp rules and application requirements that are too complicated for many uneducated, elderly and handicapped individuals. The general public’s lack of awareness of the facts surrounding hunger in America. An unwillingness on the part of politicians and corporations to acknowledge the facts surrounding hunger in America. And sadly, unrealistic yet rampant materialism, corporate greed and a growing meanness in our culture.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Does the term food insecurity differ from hunger and if so, how?
OWEN PLOTKIN: “Food insecurity” includes hunger and the specter of impending hunger, but the term is also used by the current administration to remove the politically dangerous word “hunger” from the discussion of poverty in America.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: What part of the population would you say is most vulnerable to food insecurity or poverty?
OWEN PLOTKIN: Low income workers and their children, single parent households, minorities, the elderly, handicapped and disabled people.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Hunger in America does not manifest it self in the same way as it does in other nations (distended bellies and starvation). Is it as a serious of a problem?
OWEN PLOTKIN: It is not about starvation. Sadly, the problem is often hidden malnutrition, and that especially effects children, their normal development and ability to learn. There is the problem of obesity caused by people filling up on cheap junk and fast foods rather than eating more expensive healthy foods including fruits and vegetables. It is very serious because of the growing disparity between the rich and the poor and the disappearing middle class in this, the richest nation on Earth.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Do you believe that U.S. food assistance programs such as food stamps and the school breakfast program are effective at abating hunger?
OWEN PLOTKIN: Every little bit helps. Weekend and summer programs – where available – help too.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Are food banks effective at abating hunger?
OWEN PLOTKIN: Yes, but there is a growing need for assistance.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Some people say that food banks create a situation of dependency do you think that this is possible?
OWEN PLOTKIN: I think it is much more likely that a lack manufacturing jobs, career opportunities, training and adequate public education in poorer urban and rural areas, create real need.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Do you believe there are programs the government should implement in order to encourage food self sufficiency?
OWEN PLOTKIN: I think there are many ways government can help overcome hunger in America. And I don’t think it is necessary to create more programs or bureaucracies or “throw money at the problem” to do so.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Do you believe that empowering low income urban residents with the ability to grow their own food would be an effective way of solving food insecurity?
OWEN PLOTKIN: Yes, but another public garden was destroyed just a month ago in NYC.Skyrocketing rents and housing values in many cities are making urban gardens more and more difficult to sustain.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: How important is increasing the awareness of the public?
OWEN PLOTKIN: In my opinion, awareness is more important than anything else.
ALEX ROSENBLATT: Is there anything else that you believe is important concerning the situation of hunger?
OWEN PLOTKIN: I think there is a socially destructive dearth of civic responsibility on the part of businesses in America and the world. I think that business must take responsibility for the society that allows it – by providing an open marketplace – to thrive.
Hungrr and the Hungrr character and all artworks and representations of the Hungrr character are copyright and wholly owned by the artist; Owen Plotkin,© 2006.
Hungrr,LLC., is NOT a non profit organization.
Hungrr,LLC. is registered in Delaware, MD. Certified and filed Nov 15th 2006.