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Nonfiction in response to Zero Hunger
February 2018
By Grace Muresan
Image Credit: Grace Muresan

It was a cold but crisp morning when we left our house in Sunnyvale in a dark blue vehicle, in search of another vehicle, a double-wide trailer called This is Hunger, literally an exhibit on wheels.


Sentences covered the outside of this expandable truck, each starting with the word “This,” and continuing with a phrase that showed examples of hunger and its followers, misery and embarrassment.


Our tour facilitator, Ms. Jackie Schicker, was very kind and open and answered all of my questions in a to-the-point but detailed manner.


The This is Hunger was designed by Mazon, a Jewish-led non-profit organization that helps stop and bring awareness of hunger mostly in America and Israel, but has impact around the world. It is also indirectly working with food banks.


When I visited, the This is Hunger exhibit was co-hosted by the Brandeis School of San Francisco.


We walked inside of the truck, where Ms. Jackie waited for us at a long wooden table. The room was wide and rectangular, and at each corner was an iPad. She gave us a succinct overview of This is Hunger. Then the real experience began.


The lights turned off. “Look at your plates!” Ms. Jackie said. And a spotlight above each of us made a perfect circle on the table in front of us.


We learned many interesting but also depressing facts about hunger, including the fact that more than 1 in 8 Americans go to sleep hungry, and that serving your country isn’t the best job, as 1 in 4 military families are food insecure.


I will not spoil the entire tour, but we also heard stories in first person about people’s experience living with hunger, and many explained how they wouldn’t be able to live without food pantries and soup kitchens.


The stories were collected by a photo journalist, Barbara Grover, between 2013-2015, all around America. If you want to learn more about This is Hunger, you can visit their website at


Although many people say and think that hunger is gone, they are quite mistaken. We still have a long way to go, but This is Hunger is a perfect example of what we need more of – something that makes people aware of the existence of hunger.


If everyone knew about hunger, the world may improve, but if everyone really knew what it’s like to starve, they would not just be bystanders.


Do you know hunger?

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