The Daily Beast: What’s the most effective way to help alleviate hunger in my community?
Erin Hoover, senior manager of communications, City Harvest: I would tell someone who is concerned about hunger to bring whatever they can to the table, whether that’s money, food, or time. The important thing is to commit to making a difference in a way you feel comfortable and then to do it. Hunger is often more visible around the holidays, but it exists all year round.
If I am donating food, what are some of the best products to give?
Canned fruits and vegetables; peanut butter in plastic jars; beans, meat and other proteins; and hot and cold cereal.
Is it difficult to find food that people will enjoy eating, but is also nutritious on a limited-calorie diet?
It can be difficult to find healthy foods in many urban neighborhoods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables that are affordable. We teach people in low-income communities how to buy and prepare whole foods and give them tips on shopping for healthy foods at the best price.
What do you see as the single most important policy change that could alleviate hunger in New York City, where you work?
The two things that come to mind are eliminating the finger-imaging requirement for Food Stamps enrollment, because it is a huge barrier for participation, and directing more funds to the SchoolFood program, so that more kids can eat better food.