New Series Exposes Food Crisis in California

After more than four months of reporting, Homelands co-founder Sandy Tolan and his students at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism have launched a powerful (and disturbing) multimedia series about hunger in California. “Hunger in the Golden State” is a collaborative effort of the Annenberg School and California Watch, a project of the Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting.

The series will run in California newspapers (including The Los Angeles Times), on radio stations (through KQED’s statewide public broadcast, The California Report), and in online news outlets, such as

Thirteen Annenberg graduate students interviewed dozens of state and local food bank officials, as well as Californians who struggle with food shortages every day. The reporting unearthed new numbers that show that hunger is rising at an unprecedented rate in the Golden State. Nearly one in eight people in California has asked for food assistance in the last year and food banks and social services are overwhelmed.

The stories explore food waste, nutrition in schools, the fraying food safety net, and ways to help Californians fighting to ward off hunger.