No disguising hunger

By Nancy Black

I was blown away when I saw the commercial. Why in the world would an advertising company need to create a child suffering from hunger using Artificial Intelligence? Aren’t there enough food deprived children in America whose image you could have used? Doesn’t it cost a lot of money to create anything involving artificial intelligence? Maybe the ad agency could use some real intelligence?

If you are not familiar with the commercial, it is for the nonprofit group Feeding America, and it’s called “I Am Child Hunger in America.” The camera focuses in on a teenager sitting on a stool. The “girl” then explains to the camera that she is created out of artificial intelligence from the images of more than 7 million children in our country suffering from hunger today. 

It seems to me the folks at Feeding America should use their money more wisely. Maybe use real children. All they would have to do is drive by any one of the thousands of food banks in our country holding daily drive-thru distribution sites. One in seven American households are “food insecure.” That’s the politically correct way of saying “not getting enough to eat.”

I realize that the Feeding America people mean well. They are the nation’s largest hunger-relief and food rescue organization. And they are trying to get the word out about childhood hunger. No one wants any child, or adult for that matter, to be hungry. So, I did some research to find out why they didn’t use real people. 

According to AdWeek, the new Public Service Announcement (PSA) was made to “challenge people’s perceptions of hunger as a problem faced only by those living on the streets or in distant, underdeveloped countries. Instead, advocates say, hunger afflicts 37 million Americans, in the kinds of families you see around you each day.”

“The campaign aims to challenge public perception of who faces hunger domestically by combining artificial intelligence (AI), data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and real, current stories of food insecurity to create a face of hunger,” according to Feeding America.

Knocking a nonprofit for trying to get the word out about feeding children is not my goal. Suggesting a better use of funds is. 

I wonder how many children could have been fed using the budget from making that artificial intelligence commercial? 

I hope that donations resulting from the campaign more than offset the cost. Let’s be part of that: Visit to donate.