Blog

A Hunger For Knowledge

By Laura Sodano Beausoleil

As Hunger Action Coordinator at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, I have the privilege of visiting schools and community groups, talking to people about hunger in the state, the impact of hunger in their local communities and how they can help. I help them coordinate food drives, collections of school supplies for kids in need, and various fundraisers. Most of the time, I am visiting schools, and am amazed at the dedication of administrators, teachers, and students who are passionate on the issue of hunger in their own areas.

Sometimes I work with school and town librarians on hunger education, career days and hunger projects. Annual Read Across America Day is a huge event in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, always a big day for kids to read all day.

This is National Library Week! Thanks go out to all these professionals who help us every day to discover and learn through books and new technology. A long time has gone by since I used those little Dewey Decimal System cards in the drawers!

Education on any issue is so important! I like to recommend books on hunger to librarians I have met. And I appreciate those who have shared their suggestions with me.

Here is a list of some good ones for your school or home:

For young children: “Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen” by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. A young boy volunteers with his Uncle Willie in his local soup kitchen. (Acknowledgement to the Atlanta Food Bank for sharing this information from their book list).

“Maddi’s Fridge” by Lois Brandt. Two little girls who are best friends discover that one of them suffers from hunger and the other does not. Heartwarming story on how friends help each other

“French Toast for Maleek (Las Tostadas a la Francesca por Maleek)” by Amy Carpenter Leugs. The story of the daily struggle of a young boy named Maleek and his family to have food in their home. In English & Spanish in the same volume.

For Teens and Adults: “Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Making It in America.” This book gives us a compelling look at the challenges of being a part of America’s growing working poor. Ehrenreich takes a year out of her freelance life to try making it in the low-wage work force.

If you would like information on more titles, or to schedule a hunger education session for your school or organization, please contact me at lsodano@cfbnj.org.

Laura Sodano Beausoleil is CFBNJ’s Hunger Action Coordinator.