January 7, 2013 Update
Many thanks to the more than 115 persons who have put me over my initial goal of $10,000. These funds as described below will help me cover the expenses of researching and writing Hunger, Incorporated. I intend to use any additional funds raised to pay myself a stipend. The more I am able to raise the more I can focus on writing. With only a few days left, I’m hoping we can make it to $15,000!
Who am I?
My name is Andy Fisher. I played a lead role in catalyzing and shepherding the good food movement since the mid 1990s, as co-founder and leader of the Community Food Security Coalition. I have worked tirelessly during this time to build connections between the public health, anti-hunger and local food movements.
What is the issue?
Big business stands in the way of eliminating hunger, of reducing income inequality, of reducing obesity, and of creating a sustainable and economically democratic agriculture. For example, up to 80% of employees in some Wal-Mart stores receive food stamps. Fast food and soda companies deliberately target communities of color for their obesity-creating products, despite the fact that African American, Latino and Native American populations often have higher rates of diseases caused by poor diets, such as diabetes. Big agri-businesses lobby hard to keep in place farm policy that benefits their bottom lines, but harms the environment or puts family farmers out of business.
What am I writing?
I am writing a book about how big corporations benefit from the way we deal with hunger in the US. Not only do they receive tens of billions of dollars from federal food programs, such as food stamps and WIC, but much of the anti-hunger community sees big business as a partner in ending hunger. This evolution of the anti-hunger movement from being at the epicenter of social justice concerns to more of a middle of the road corporate-friendly position has had positive short-term effects, but negative long-term impacts on eliminating hunger. These partnerships have also unintentionally made it more difficult to address obesity and reforming the nation’s detrimental farm policies.
Tentatively entitled Hunger Inc., the book will be published in 2014, most likely by MIT Press.
I have one chapter completed, and will be writing about a chapter per month from now until late summer or early fall 2013.
Funding and Budget
I have been funding this project out of my family’s pocket to-date. As I am currently unemployed, our pockets are none too deep these days. I’ll get very modest royalties once the book starts selling, but I won’t see that money until 2015. I anticipate that my research costs through next summer are about $10,000:
Cell Phone (pre-pay $25/month x 10 months) $250
Supplies, such as toner cartridges, paper $250
Purchase of publications, subscriptions $250
Travel for interviews $7,000
(Northern California twice , Southern California, New York City twice, Washington DC twice, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, OH, New England, Phoenix, and Chicago)
Research Assistant, 150 hours x $15/hour $2250
Any funds over and above the $10,000 I raise will go toward paying myself a small stipend. If I don’t reach the $10,000 goal, I will need to forego having a research assistant or try to raise the funds elsewhere.
My hopes and dreams – and my plans – are that this book and a subsequent organizing campaign will ignite a dialogue about the future of how we fight hunger in the US.
Those of you in food and farm world know that I am an excellent writer and strategic thinker. The timing is ripe for this book.
Please make a contribution of any size to this important cause today. Please spread the word about this campaign. Indiegogo share tools can help you do so.
Thanks so much for your support over the years and once again.. For those of you unable to donate funds, I want to hear from you as well. Post a comment or send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)