Andy Fisher, food justice author, to speak at UH Manoa

Fisher will discuss why wealthy countries like the U.S. continue to struggle with food insecurity.


HONOLULU, Hawai‘i — Andy Fisher, the author of Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups, will speak at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Mānoa on the evening of September 12, 2019. Fisher will discuss the reasons why hunger persists in wealthy countries like the United States, and how it can be solved.

Prior to his talk, Fisher will be meeting with farmers, food banks, food-justice advocates and social service providers about innovative anti-hunger initiatives on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.

Even in the 21st century, hunger is a critical issue in Hawai‘i. According to a 2017 Feeding America analysis, 1 in 9 island residents struggle with food insecurity, including 1 in 6 children. However, unlike in the developing world, Hawai‘i residents who struggle to put food on the table are often the same individuals who battle with diet-related chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure.

“With the costs of food up to 80 percent higher than prices on the mainland1, it makes sense that struggling families would choose the cheapest foods they can find, which tend to be high in salt, sugar and fat, and low in essential nutrients,” said Daniela Kittinger, Director of Anti-Hunger Initiatives at Hawai‘i Appleseed Center. “We need to find solutions that focus on the root causes of hunger, and ensure that everyone—regardless of their income—has access to good, healthy food.”

Fisher’s book, Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups (2017), aims to make that connection. The book takes a critical look at our current system of addressing hunger in the United States, and offers solutions that focus not on charity, but on addressing food insecurity at its source. These solutions include both improving public health and reducing income inequality.

As the founder of the Community Food Security Coalition, Fisher has been a leading force in the food security and justice movement for the past 25 years. He led national campaigns that have brought more than $200 million to community groups for food security and farm-to-school projects.

Fisher’s public talk is presented by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. event. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. On-campus parking is available for $6. The facility is ADA accessible. Registration and more information can be found here.

Co-sponsors include: The UH College of Social Sciences, The Food Basket, the Hawaii Good Food Alliance, Kahala Hotel & Resort, the UH Public Policy Center, UH Alumni Relations, and the UH Better Tomorrow Speaker Series.

Media interviews: Fisher makes regular appearances on television and radio. He is available for on-air or advance interviews in Hawai‘i from September 10 through 13. Contact Will Caron, Communications Director for Hawai‘i Appleseed, to set up an interview.

1 Calculated using the rates from the Official United States Department of Agriculture Food Plans. Comparison of costs between Hawai‘i and other states for a family of four: Couple (Male & Female), 19–50 years and children 6–8 and 9–11, July, 2019.

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