Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 7:29 pm | Mostly Cloudy 63º


‘Free for All’ Author Janet Poppendieck to Speak in Santa Barbara

The Orfalea Foundation is very excited to bring Hunter College sociologist, noted author and food systems expert Janet Poppendieck to Santa Barbara’s Marjorie Luke Theater at 7 p.m. this Thursday.

Janet Poppendieck

Poppendieck will be speaking about "The Future of Hunger," as part of the Orfalea Foundation’s Food Sovereignty Week.

After a brief presentation, Poppendieck will be joined by Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Erik Talkin and Orfalea Foundation School Food Initiative Director Kathleen de Chadenèdes to discuss advances and challenges in food literacy, food security and school food in Santa Barbara County.

And at 5:15 p.m., before the program begins, attendees can experience the new face of School Food, as the Santa Barbara Unified School District Mobile Cafes will be on the scene serving delicious, nutritious, economical meals. Come see and taste how Food Services Director Nancy Weiss and her team have transformed school food to compete with the best restaurants and caterers in town.

Poppendieck will also discuss school food in her presentation: “I will certainly be talking about school food, both because I believe that healthy, appetizing school meals are a key to helping our young people develop an appreciation for good food and healthy food habits that can serve them for  lifetime and because I believe that school food offers an opportunity for a paradigm shift — from a program targeted to poor children to a program aimed at  promoting health, educational achievement and well being for us all.”

Tickets for "The Future of Hunger" are only $5 online ($10 at the door), with proceeds benefiting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the School Food Initiative. Click here to learn more about this event and Tuesday's free screening of A Place at the Table.

Poppendieck’s recent books include Free for All: Fixing School Food in America and Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement.

“Many years ago, in the late 1960s, anti-poverty activists made a conscious decision to focus their efforts on ‘hunger,’ rather than the broader issue of poverty, because they believed that the American people were more responsive to the issue — that the sentiment that no one should go hungry in the land of plenty was widespread," she said. "Looking back over the last 45 years, history suggests that they were correct in their assessment. If you compare food assistance with welfare — cash assistance — food assistance provides much more help to many more people. In fact, one of four Americans participates in at least one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 15 food assistance programs. Welfare, on the other hand, is increasingly meager and hard to obtain.

"In my talk, I'm going to explain how this happened, and then I'm going to discuss some recent changes, especially the rise of the ‘good food movement’ and the ‘food sovereignty movement’ that are causing some long-term anti-hunger activists to ask if ‘hunger’ is still the most useful and powerful way to mobilize public sentiment on behalf of efforts to meet the needs of impoverished Americans.”

— Dean Zatkowsky is the communications manager for the Orfalea Foundation.

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