FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Adach, (202) 986-2200 x3018
Washington, D.C. – June 6, 2012 – As the nation climbs out of a recession, hunger and poverty continue to stay on the margins of public debate. At its 22nd Annual Dinner, FRAC hosted a roundtable with leading journalists to discuss recent coverage of hunger and poverty, with a particular look at how these issues – and the people grappling with them – are portrayed in the media.
Moderated by CQ Roll Call reporter Ellyn Ferguson, the panel will include: Mark Schmitt, senior fellow with The Roosevelt Institute and former executive editor of The American Prospect; David Shipler, author of The Working Poor: Invisible in America; Kristi Jacobson, co-director of Finding North; and Lori Silverbush, co-director of Finding North.
Such issues are also in the forefront of many American’s minds. A poll conducted last year for FRAC and Tyson Foods found that nearly one in four Americans worried about not having enough money to put food on the table at some point in the next year. A separate poll conducted for FRAC earlier this year found that 81 percent said that low-income families and children not being able to afford enough food to eat is a serious problem.
Still, media coverage is focusing on many things, including unemployment and jobs, but not hunger or poverty. The panelists will discuss the responsibility of reporters – and advocates – to elevate these issues.
FRAC President Jim Weill noted that the past four years of hard economic times have presented many challenges for anti-hunger work, but these four years also have shown the extraordinary strengths of the federal nutrition programs. “They have proven that they prevent hunger, and reduce the poverty rate, and reduce the severity of poverty,” said Weill. “Tonight’s discussion will focus on how these issues of hunger and poverty are covered, and the role of media in defining such issues.”
More than 300 people will attend the dinner and panel discussion, which will be held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. The proceeds from the dinner will benefit FRAC's Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, which aims to provide children with the nutrition they need to be healthy, to learn, and to grow. The Campaign works to raise awareness of existing programs, create partnerships with local groups to craft innovative strategies, and develop long-term strategies to improve programs. The General Mills Foundation served as Legacy Patron of the event, which received generous support from the American Beverage Association, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Taste of the NFL, Abbott, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Mars Incorporated, Nestlé USA, Unilever United States, Inc., and many others.
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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the lead advocacy organization working to end hunger in America through stronger public policies. For more information, visit www.frac.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/foodresearchandactioncenter or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/fractweets.