Media with a Mission: Food for Thought

In this season of giving, when conspicuous consumption and consumer spending seem to outpace our more charitable inclinations, I’d like to point your browser to a citizen media project in Philadelphia that empowers women living in poverty to share their stories. Based at Drexel University, “Witness to Hunger” provided digital cameras to 40 women with young children and asked them to document their daily lives and their struggles to feed their kids. Their photos, sound bites and videos are posted online and are part of an exhibit touring Pennsylvania. I learned about it in the Washington Post.

Food insecurity has been in the news lately and studies show that half of all kids in the U.S. will rely on food stamps during their childhood. President Obama has declared his goal to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Public media projects like “Witness to Hunger” humanize the poor and are key to engaging citizens in finding solutions.

In the Philadelphia Daily News, this photo was captioned: “He was asking the caseworker for something to eat. If he was in day care, I wouldn’t have to have lugged him early in the morning to an appointment to the welfare office to try to get food stamps and medical coverage. I can’t help it if my baby’s hungry. I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to lie to you, Miss, he’s hungry.'”- Photo and voice by Imani S.