Hunger in America–The Battle Intensifies

By Ed Nicholson

Beth Kanter pointed us to this very well-written article by David Cay Johnston in the New York Times discussing the state of hunger in America today, which states the obvious for those involved the fight:  Hunger relief organizations are seeing exponential growth in demand due to a struggling economy, at the same time resources are shrinking. 

"What makes the demand so striking this year is not only the suddenness but also the demographic that is seeking help. Most of the newcomers have been employed and have managed to survive dips in the job market. Many of them are couples and single parents who… had [previously] managed without handouts."

And on the supply side, improvements in inventory and quality control by donor companies have reduced available product, while, "Surplus production is often sold to overseas markets at a discount that brings food manufacturers more than the value of the tax deduction of a charitable donation, food bank managers across the country said in interviews." 

Times are tough.  If you can afford it, donate to your local food bank. 

Social Media at Share Our Strength

Guest Post by Michael J. Clark, APR – Mitchell Communications Group.



Beth Kanter at the SOS Social Media Workshop

I’m currently sitting in the breakout session titled Tapping into Social Media Tools to Build Buzz, Find Fans, and Raise Funds with Tyson team members at the Share Our Strength 2008 Conference of Leaders.

Yesterday, we spent the day in Washington DC interviewing, documenting the many volunteers who dedicated a day of service to the Friendship Charter School and the Capital Area Foodbank, see photos on here (Flickr)

Social media played an important role in the day of sharing. A team of ten participants led by Beth Kanter  (twitter) set out to invite the online community to bear witness.  Share Our Strength (blog)

We invite you to join in the community and participate by making a contribution in our social media to create awareness for Share Our Strength (blog)

Live from the Share Our Strength Conference of Leaders



A young volunteer (and his helpers) at the Share Our Strength Conference of Leaders Day of Service

We’re in DC at great event, the Share Our  Strength annual Conference of Leaders.  Each year, Share Our Strength brings together their flock–people who work on Taste of the Nation events, Operation Frontline, Great Amerian  Dineout, Great American Bake Sale, staff, corporate sponsors, and many others.
It’s a marvelous example of community building, at the end of which, relationships have been formed and rekindled, and people go away energized about the organization’s mission of ending childhood hunger in our lifetime. 
Each year at the conference, a phenomenal conversation occurs, among a group of incredibly passionate, bright and motivated people. This year, we’re determined to extend that conversation beyond the conference; to bring it online, and to use the event as catalyst for a social media effort that keeps the community connected year-round.  
To that end, we have quite a bit of social media activity going on.  Beth Kanter is coming in to help us live blog the conference’s Service Day, and to lead a workshop tomorrow.   The Share Our Strength Conference of Leaders blog is up and running to document the goings on.  Several people will be tweeting events.   Check it out for the next couple of days to see what’s happening. We encourage you to join the conversation, and stay connected as we move forward.

Blog Action Day

By Ed Nicholson

Today is Blog Action Day, in which thousands of bloggers nationwide devote their energy and resources to creating awareness of one issue, poverty.

While we were late to the game, and didn’t get an organized effort together (we promise to  continue to focus on hunger throughout the year), some of the friends we’ve made this year are doing some admirable work today.

Beth Kanter, who an enormous following, has  alerted us to this post by PunditMom, wherein she’s donating $1 to DC’s Capital Area Food Bank for every comment to the post. 

Austinite Mike Chapman, a truly great guy, whom we had the pleasure of getting to know during the HAM-Up Tweetup, joined the street immersion sponsored by Mobile Loaves and Fishes and the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, spending a night with the homeless on the streets of Austin.  He sent Twitter messages throughout the experience.   

 Connie Reece, another well-connected Austinite,  offers this reflection.

Today, we commend everyone who redirected their normal blog focus to this important issue.

Social Media for Social Good




Beth Kanter

Widely-respected social media maven, Beth Kanter has become personally involved in the issue of hunger.  She offers some very good tactical advice in this blog post, also asking for examples of hunger relief groups using social media to advance the cause  (BTW, if you’re a non-profit, you really need to have Beth’s blog in your RSS feed).

Beth will be a featured presenter at the upcoming Share Our Strength Conference of Leaders,  in DC, in October. If you’re planning on attending what is usually an excellent conference, this will be a must-attend event.   

A tip of the hat to Beth for her involvement in this issue (also, many thanks for her support of both the Austin and Bay Area comments-for-food efforts).