In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, sociologist, poverty expert and author Kathy Edin ($2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America) and Washington, DC area social entrepreneur Tom McDougall of 4P Foods have a powerful and timely discussion with Share Our Strength founders Billy and Debbie Shore about poverty in America. Kathy and Tom illustrate how our current systems – political, social, economic, geographic – keep poor people from succeeding. They argue for more equity in our social programs and a more dignified way of serving the poor. Kathy shares stunning statistics and touching anecdotes of the impoverished families with whom she has worked. When she asked one young girl what it was like to be hungry, her response was, “It feels like you want to be dead, because it’s peaceful when you’re dead.” Tom believes, “We can’t talk about fixing the food system unless we talk about money and politics… subsidies… institutional racism… the history of farming. … If we move the needle just a tad on food equity, it means we’re moving a lot of other needles along the way.” In Kathy’s work, she found that, “When it comes down to it, what people seem to want more than anything else is dignity. … but a lot of our social policies deny people that.” Hear their recommendations on what we can do as individuals and as a nation to improve these dire circumstances for the poor in America.

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