Food insecurity today echoes Great Depression-era levels of waste and hunger

With farmers dumping milk and leaving unpicked produce on fields to rot, some experts fear that the world is facing prospects of food insecurity comparable to Depression-era levels of mass hunger. In the early 1930s, Americans took to the street via “hunger marches” to demand financial relief and a stronger social safety net, as well as to protest the related issues of segregation and oppression of Black people. Around the same time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted a New Deal program that paid farmers to scale back production, and ostensibly boost their prices and income, despite outrage from the public at the idea of crop destruction amid widespread hunger. The government also bought surplus foods to redistribute among the people, though just how effective these efforts were is up for debate—kind of like USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program today. History, it appears, may be repeating itself. Time has the story.