Food Bullying Podcast

Compassion is key to solving hunger: Episode 68


Food elitist ideas are a problem, not a solution for hunger.” We continue our focus on hunger and food insecurity with a poignant conversation about compassion with Clancy Harrison of The Food Dignity Project. Clancy is a self-professed “recovering food snob” and shares stories of how her group is fighting the stigma and shame of food insecurity by serving PEOPLE first. 

Clancy Harrison challenges the way hunger is approached in the United States as a registered dietitian, TEDx speaker, and food access strategist. She is The Food Dignity® Project creator, a strategic consulting program for organizations that want to strengthen health outcomes and shift how they approach healthcare. Her mission to demolish the stigma surrounding food assistance programs places her on the cutting edge of advocacy.

Key points:

Being a food snob increases the stigma of hunger:

  • Food elitist ideas are a problem, not a solution for hunger 
  • People experiencing food insecurity don’t have the same choices as those who are privileged to afford the “right” food
  • We have to understand the “why” behind food choices. A flavored yogurt may be a treasured gift for a child – but causes shame for the parent if they are told it isn’t a healthy choice
  • Privileged people often create fear around food by calling it toxic, unhealthy, etc.

Serving hungry people with dignity:

  • Change the environment where food is received
  • Ask volunteers, “What are you good at?” and humanize the experience
  • Giving every kid in the cat a balloon animal makes the trip fun
  • Volunteers are encouraged to take food to cut food waste and to share recipes (what to do with a rutabaga)

COVID impact on hunger

  • In March, the need for food services increased by 1700%
  • Shifted to “Truck to Trunk” service where people stay in their vehicles
  • A month’s worth of food was distributed in 3 hours
  • Lost elderly volunteers

Three tips to overcome food bullying:

  • Ask why and have compassion
  • Know others do not have the same choices
  • Remember a story


Clancy Harrison Website:




Clancy’s Recent Video about Food Bullying:

Food Bullying by Michele Payn:

Embrace Your Heart with Eliz Greene:

Food Bullying Podcast’s Facebook Page:

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