Food Bullying Podcast

How do you listen to hunger? Episode 67


Our November hunger series kicks off with one of our favorite guests, anti-hunger advocate Diane Sullivan. She shares how COVID-19 has impacted people who are experiencing food insecurity. For example, did you know people who use SNAP benefits aren’t able to use grocery delivery services that have been essential to many who are at high risk?

Diane Sullivan is a mother and a grandmother with lived experience and hunger and is currently a SNAP recipient. She is an anti-hunger advocate focused on food affordability working to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable, nutritious food or regardless of income.

Key points:

COVID-19 has presented new challenges for people who need food assistance:

  • SNAP (formerly Food Stamp) recipients cannot use grocery delivery services which forces people with underlying conditions to go to the store.
  • SNAP recipients could not stockpile food as we were advised to do at the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Unemployment payments put people over the income cap to receive SNAP benefits, but then when the payments stop they have to reapply.  This created an administrative nightmare.

The pandemic highlighted inequities:

  • People were already living with limited housing, food, and healthcare resources.
  • Many people found themselves needing resources but didn’t know where to find them.
  • People deserve a choice in the food they receive, but the demand for food support during the pandemic has removed much of the choice.  People wait in long lines to receive a random bag of food.
  • People still have to leave home to receive food.
  • People deserve choice and safe access to nutritious food.

Where to find resources:

  • Look online to apply for SNAP benefits.
  • Feeding America is a great resource for immediate needs from Food Banks (that buy food to distribute) and Food Pantries (that distribute food).

We haven’t solved the problems of hunger and poverty because we aren’t listening to the people who have lived experience:

  • People with lived experience need to be treated like experts and reimbursed for their time and travel.
  • We need to solve the problems that exist, not those that don’t.
  • We need to advocate for efficiency.

Three tips to overcome hunger and food insecurity:

  • Keep educating yourself.
  • Don’t fall victim to the manipulation of clever food marketers.  Don’t sway the market toward more expensive food.
  • Learn to engage people with lived experience in hunger.

Anti-hunger advocateLinks:

Diane on Twitter:

Food Bullying book by Michele Payn:

Embrace Your Heart with Eliz Greene:

Food Bullying Podcast’s Facebook Page:

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.