Good morning! On the menu today:

White House hunger meeting will livestream on Wednesday: A meeting focusing on hunger in America will be held on Wednesday, January 27th at 1:00 p.m. EST. Participants include families, advocates, academics, religious leaders and public officials. The conversation will be led by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz. It will focus on hunger in children and “the persistence and effects of hunger in America and what must be done to ensure all American families have access to an adequate, nutritious diet.” Access the livestream here.


ICYMI, from earlier in the month: hunger report provides 20 policy recommendations. Freedom from Hunger: An Achievable Goal for the United States, published by the bipartisan National Commission on Hunger, has been released. The commission is charged with providing “… policy recommendations to Congress and the USDA Secretary to more effectively use existing programs and funds of the Department of Agriculture to combat domestic hunger and food insecurity.”

The commission assessed hunger in populations of “specific concern” (seniors, those with disabilities, single-parent families with young children, veterans and active duty military, American Indians, immigrants, and those with high incarceration rates).

The result? An incredibly valuable report that most of us should read for any number of reasons, including the clear information it provides about the issue of hunger in America (causes, impacts, solutions). The report also provides important demographic information about impacted populations, as well as incredibly valuable information about how the nation is addressing hunger through a range of federal nutrition assistance programs, community-based programs and public-private partnerships.


Child hunger in North Korea: UNICEF (the United Nation’s children’s agency) is launching its annual appeal for donations to combat child hunger. The organization cites reports of severe child malnourishment in North Korea. It’s estimated that nearly 25,000 children in that country “require immediate treatment for malnutrition” as a result of a drought which has drastically cut food production and reduced government rations. The agency also highlighted concerns about children in Yemen and Burundi. Appearing in The Guardian.


Joe Leonard: bringing racial equality to the food system. Civil Eats managing editor Twilight Greenaway pens an incredibly informative and fascinating profile of Dr. Joe Leonard, who works as the assistant secretary for civil rights at the USDA. Leonard has held the position since 2009 (the position was created under the 2002 Farm Bill). He and his staff are working in important ways to reverse the effects of generations of discrimination and achieve social justice for minority farmers. One of the best quotes in the piece? “Trust is lost in buckets and gained back in drops.” A must read. ICYMI: A talk with Shirley Sherrod.


For political junkies. From Nathaniel Johnson for GristWhy is ethanol-loving Iowa embracing ethanol-hating Ted Cruz?


To tickle your fancy: pampered vegetables and in the footsteps of the Romans.

Think high-end restaurants “where food is art and the plate is just as exquisite as the mouthful.” What kinds of vegetables might appear on those plates? Maybe a “cucamelon”…a tiny cucumber that looks very much like a watermelon. And who grows these exquisite vegetables? Learn the answers to these questions and more by reading (super text and stunning photos) and listening to this terrific piece by Eliza Barclay and Ryan Kellman for NPR. #love 

Exploring climate change through a country diary. Reflections from Lowick, Northamptonshire (England). Journalist/conservationist Matt Shardlow finds “a scatter” of vineyards stretching north, a few miles from where ancient Romans cultivated grapes. A lovely, little and somewhat wistful read; it appears in The Guardian.


Have a great day!