Ronan Farrow Daily   |  April 18, 2014

The food insecurity crisis in America

Ronan Farrow speaks with Jilly Stephens, executive director of City Harvest, a New York-based food rescue organization that helps feed over one million needy families across New York City.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a new study just out reveals the price you pay for food could skyrocket in the komting months. according to arizona state university research, a three-year drought in california could make america 's staple fruits and vegetables anywhere from 14 to 34% more expensive. as you can see on this wall street journal chart, the people that can get hit hardest by this, the 49 million americans our government calls food insecure, who live in food deserts with limited or no access to healthy food leading to serious medical issues that can cost the country billions. to put a face on that problem, we head to one of the poorest congressional districts in america , right here in new york city in the south bronx .

>> how are you feeling today?

>> i'm doing fine. it's a new day.

>> amen.

>> on a saturday morning in the south bronx , hundreds wait in line, more than 500 mothers and fathers and young and not so young. all here for something many take for granted, a simple chance to eat right.

>> whose next?

>> on this day, lisa rivera is a volunteer keeping the line in line, just a few years ago, she was standing in it.

>> why did you first start coming here and waiting in line.

>> i started as a participant. my husband had recently lost his job and it was hard to make ends meet.

>> she remembers nights agonizing over sending her children to bed hungry.

>> it wasn't healthy choices, junk food or leftovers that is not even suitable to feed an animal to be honest.

>> lisa learned by city harvest . twice a month they bring these markets to the poorest neighborhoods in the fir boroughs. a growing number of americans face a tough choice, no food or unhealthy food. hundreds line up for donated fruits and vegetables at markets like this one in the south bronk. julie stevens leads the efforts to field 2 million hungry new yorkers every year.

>> very low income neighborhoods, we begin to see high diet related disease.

>> a poverty rate of 40% and obesedy rate over 60%. it's a double epidemic emerging in low income neighborhoods nationwide.

>> if we walk around, you'll see a lot of corner stores and not selling a lot of health y food. it is more expensive than i might find in my own supermarket.

>> she is always here early in the morning .

>> ten years ago, lisa decided she had to give something back. that's when she went from standing in the line to helping those in it. now she's got some help.

>> you also brought your daughter to volunteer.

>> my daughter victoria.

>> she is 13. when she grows up she wants to work on feeding the hungry.

>> i wanted to hen other people that might be going through what i'm going through and like help them more better because i don't want them to experience as bad as what i did, you know so --

>> thanks to lisa and victoria for their story. you can see more of my interview on our website. the kind of food insecurity lisa and her family lived out has been the subject of our call to action all this week. remember, we turn to you to get a sense of the challenge you face in your communities on this asking, are you closer to fresh food or fast food ? chris told us, nothing but fast food around me but it's a very quick and easy drive to places negotiate that sell fresh. edward e-mailed to say he and his wife are retired and eat fresh food and our food bill is outrageously high but we manage, we rather spend on food than medical care . 50% of you are closer to fresh food, 31% closer to fast food . and 10% said you were equally close to both. thanks for weighing in. stay tuned for next week's call to action on an underreported story you want to see more of. dirty crimes like oil spills ravaging america 's environment, eric brockovich kicks off that on monday. first