I am Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. I thank the Commission for holding this hearing and for giving us the opportunity to testify. The New York City Coalition Against Hunger works to meet the immediate food needs of low-income Americans while fighting for policies to ensure long-term economic and food self-sufficiency for all Americans.
I am honored to testify along with Ms. Nermin Tadros, whose testimony demonstrates why food insecurity in America – particularly among working people – is both morally reprehensible and a drag on our entire economy. I think most Americans would agree that, when anyone in this country can’t afford enough food – and especially when people with jobs face hunger because they earn so little – the basic moral compass of the country is out of whack and we have lost our national soul.
When tens of millions of Americans like Nermin can’t afford to purchase basic goods and services that this nation produces – including the healthiest food – our overall economy is harmed. And when tens of millions of additional Americans temporarily subsist in near-poverty and in the lower middle class – and can be pushed into poverty and food insecurity overnight by one illness, one lay-off, one divorce, one reduction in work hours, or one car malfunction – then the entire American enterprise is at risk.
Read the full testimony: