New Haven City Hall Display Documents Hunger Through Photos

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Two years ago more than eight million children were at risk of hunger according to Drexel University.

To bring attention to the plight women and men from across the country took part in a project called “Witnesses to Hunger.”

As part of the project participants snapped photos of what hunger is like in their household and shared the photographs for millions to see.

That display has made its way to New Haven’s City Hall featuring stories from across the country including families in New Haven.

Jo-Ann Ndiaye, mother of five from New Haven agreed to be a part of it.

Ndiaye and her family are among nearly one-third of New Haven residents considered food insecure, a government term for someone who experiences hunger.

“Food has always been a struggle,” said Ndiaye.

Ndiaye is not working for health related reasons and receives monthly SNAP benefits which help her to buy food.

At the beginning of the month her fridge is plentiful but return at the end of the money and it will likely be bare.

"I would be doing good if I had a package of bacon and a package of chicken. I would be doing good.”

Like millions across the country she has stories of her life facing food insecurity and she is now sharing those struggles through photos.

Inside New Haven’s City Hall out in the open for all to see are photographs taken through the lens of those who go hungry.

“Witnesses to Hunger is from the Drexel School of Public Health and they organize people that are experiencing hunger to tell their stories through photos,” said Billy Bromage with the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement.

Among the dozens of families in the Witnesses to Hunger project three are from New Haven.

For one week they used cameras to document their lives dealing, coping with hunger.

They’re touching, telling, eye-opening accounts about the struggle to make ends meet.

“So this is Miracle Brown, she took a few photos of the food pantry that she goes too,” said Bromage.

Another mom from New Haven shared a photo of her son who wanted a hearty meal with meat that she couldn’t provide.

Jo-Ann Ndiaye took photos that show her garden and healthy eating as well as one snapshot of three receipts from three different supermarkets she goes to looking for the best bargains.

Billy Bromage says hunger is an issue in New Haven that’s often overlooked.

“There are a few ways to change that, one is to educate people and to bring more people into the discussion,” he said.

Witnesses to Hunger can help lead the way.

“I think this issue is bigger than just food it's about being able to have nutritious food,” said Ndiaye.

Lately times have been much better for Jo-Ann Ndiaye because of her garden and also in knowing that she has become a voice for the hungry.

“These issues don't just stop with us they are going to continue on to future generations.”

These display will be up until Friday evening.

You can learn more about Witnesses to Hunger by clicking here.

You can learn more about SNAP by clicking here.

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