Students learn about hunger issues in Sacramento

Jasmine Alston

Thanksgiving is here and many people are preparing to have fresh meals on their table but there are some in the Sacramento area who are unable to provide food for themselves and their families.

Hidden Hunger presentations took place Nov. 20 at The Well for National Hunger Awareness week. The event presented by Capitol Public Radio consisted of an interactive discussion for students to become more knowledgeable about hunger in the area.

According to the presentation, there are about 220,000 people in Sacramento county who suffer from hunger at some point each month.

Each presenter shared specific people from the documentary presentation who in some way have been effected by food insecurity.

Kate Gonzales, an intern with CPR and Sac State student, presented a video of Carrie Coronado, a woman who expressed how important and reliable the food banks were for her mother.

Gonzales said she felt Coronado’s story was relatable to students because some may witness their parents not thriving the way they should and being able to want to help them.

Dawn Dunlap, community nutrition programs manager for Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, presented a video of a retired school teacher who noticed students were often hungry when they came to school.

Dunlap said she chose the story because when she worked for Sacramento Unified School District she noticed students coming to school hungry as well.

Some of the other issues that came up from the presentations were the problems of language barriers and people being able to find employment in order to provide food for their families.

During the discussions, the majority of students were shocked to find out there was a large number of people in Sacramento county who were dealing with food hunger.

The presenters encouraged students to get involved with different organizations to assist with some of the local food banks.

“There’s a need for education … people need to learn ways of how to eat economically,” Dunlap said. “Volunteer at the Co-op cooking, you do not have to be a chef or a dietician to teach the classes.”

Catherine Stifter, documentary producer, said the project came about from The View From Here multimedia series produced by Capitol Public Radio.

Stifter hopes that through this radio documentary and other documentaries that people are able to connect with one another.

“Through listening to the personal stories of ordinary people grappling with sometimes extraordinary circumstances, I hope we, all of us, realize we stand on common ground. Our values are not all that different,” she said.

On the site, there are about 40 stories of people from different food banks who shared their stories and experiences.

The importance of the presentations was to show the resources available to those who are unable to afford the food and produce they need. Also, students were able to get more information about how to get involved and some even announced food drives for the upcoming holiday.

The radio documentary “Hidden Hunger: Storybooth” will air Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information visit