Holiday Gift Guide
Authors & Events
Gifts & Deals
Apr 09, 2019
| ISBN 9780262536769
Apr 09, 2019
| ISBN 9780262352796
Also available from:
Apr 09, 2019 | ISBN 9780262536769
Apr 09, 2019 | ISBN 9780262352796
How food pantries stigmatize their clients through a discourse that emphasizes hard work, self help, and economic productivity rather than food justice and equity.
The United States has one of the highest rates of hunger and food insecurity in the industrialized world, with poor households, single parents, and communities of color disproportionately affected. Food pantries—run by charitable and faith-based organizations—rather than legal entitlements have become a cornerstone of the government’s efforts to end hunger. In Feeding the Other, Rebecca de Souza argues that food pantries stigmatize their clients through a discourse that emphasizes hard work, self help, and economic productivity rather than food justice and equity. De Souza describes this “framing, blaming, and shaming” as “neoliberal stigma” that recasts the structural issue of hunger as a problem for the individual hungry person.
De Souza shows how neoliberal stigma plays out in practice through a comparative case analysis of two food pantries in Duluth, Minnesota. Doing so, she documents the seldom-acknowledged voices, experiences, and realities of people living with hunger. She describes the failure of public institutions to protect citizens from poverty and hunger; the white privilege of pantry volunteers caught between neoliberal narratives and social justice concerns; the evangelical conviction that food assistance should be “a hand up, not a handout”; the culture of suspicion in food pantry spaces; and the constraints on food choice. It is only by rejecting the neoliberal narrative and giving voice to the hungry rather than the privileged, de Souza argues, that food pantries can become agents of food justice.
I believe Feeding the Other to be a crucial and necessary tool for any service organization, not only food banks and pantries, when exploring how to best center and prioritize the voices of people who are most impacted by their services.—Gastronomica—
De Souza’s book is a much-needed intervention into the unvoiced logics at play within the food pantry system in the United States. Aided by her crisp prose, attention to detail, and her broad theoretical oeuvre, the book does an excellent job of introducing complex critical health communication ideas in a way that is approachable, but never simplified.
Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network
Stay in Touch