School’s out for the summer, but it’s not always a happy time for kids. For students participating in the federal free and reduced lunch program, summer time can mean going hungry. Many schools continue to offer subsidies meals during the summer, but not all students can trek to school during the summer when buses are no longer running.
Here’s a puzzle: an estimated 33 to 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is wasted, and yet at the same time, one of six Americans are classified as food insecure, meaning that they lack reliable access to affordable, healthy food.
Elinor Ostrom‘s great book Governing the Commons describes how one community in Japan managed its common mountain forestry for hundreds of years using local traditions instead of government rules. But can government rules help revive commons farming in Japan?
Heifer International is a non-profit that helps impoverished families gain access to livestock such as chickens, goats, and bees. Livestock provides both food and marketable products, helping end both hunger and poverty, which supports Heifer International’s mission “to work with communities to end hunger and care for the Earth.”
In this blog, I’ve talked about the distribution of goods and services, one of the pillars of marketing. I’ve also talked about fairness and inequality, which are closely related to distribution. But when it comes to the public good, maybe that’s all more complicated than it’s need to be. Maybe we just need to be distributing money to the poor.
In this blog, I’ve argued that fairness is innate in humans and other social animals such as Capuchin monkeys. But if that’s the case, how do we account for greed, selfishness, and opportunism, especially when it doesn’t serve the individual’s long-term self-interest?
Put on your marketing hat, then set these two recent announcements side-by-side:
- More than one in seven U.S. households experienced food insecurity last year
- The U.S. throws out 40 percent of the food we produce
I let out a whoop when I saw this news. This is great progress for millions of people around the world. I think the Millennium Development project gets too little credit for the great progress they’ve made.