Hunger and Homelessness Awareness

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it is a good time to think about socioeconomic status in the United States. November 10th-18th is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. If you are interested in learning more about the topic, check out the materials listed below, which can all be found in the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries:


All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? by Joel Berg focuses on the increasing number of Americans who have to wait in lines at food pantries.

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom.

The Culture of Homelessness by Megan Ravenhill.

Each One Teach One: Up and Out of Poverty, Memoirs of a Street Activist
by Ron Casanova details his own struggles with poverty and how he campaigned for lower income housing and better federal assistance for homeless individuals.

Flophouse: Life on the Bowery by David Isay, Stacy Abramson, and Harvey Wang contains photographs and testimonies of people who live in lodging houses, also called flophouses.

Growing Up Empty: The Hunger Epidemic in America by Loretta Schwartz-Nobel explores public policies and national debates on hunger and poverty in the U.S.

Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America by Jonathan Kozol describes families housed in the Martinique Hotel in New York and their struggles with the welfare system.


Country Boys is a documentary about two boys struggling to overcome poverty in Kentucky’s Appalachian hills.

Dark Days is a documentary about a community of homeless people that live in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan.

Living Broke in Boom Times: Lessons from the Movement to End Poverty
is a documentary about poor Americans organizing to end poverty.

The Pursuit of Happyness
tells the story of a father’s struggle through poverty and jail time; he eventually becomes a respected millionaire and Wall Street legend.

To find additional materials, you can do an advanced keyword search by the following subject headings:

Economic assistance, Domestic–United States
Food relief–United States
Homeless persons–United States
Hunger–United States
Poverty–United States
Welfare rights movement–United States

If you have any questions about researching hunger and homelessness feel free to ask a librarian!


American Pie Month

February is usually known for Valentine’s Day, but did you know its official title is “Great American Pie Month? The art of pie making first came to America from the colonial settlers. The first pies were usually meat-based, but the Native American knowledge of fruits and berries influenced the creation of the fruit-based pies we know and love today. A wide variety of recipes have been passed through the generations and continue to be a staple of most American celebrations.


Don’t have a favorite dessert recipe? We can help you with that!

Betty Crocker’s desserts cookbook
Crocker, Betty
HPER Library – TX773 .C96

The Dessert Lover’s Cookbook
Storm, Margaret
HPER Library – TX773 .S76

Pastries and desserts
California Home Economics Association. Southern section.
Research Collection – TX773 .C2

The Pie Book; 419 recipes
De Gouy, Louis Pullig
Research Collection – TX773 .D33 1974

Pillsbury’s bake off dessert cook book; shortcutted prize winning favorites, the best of all the bake offs
Pillsbury Company
HPER Library – TX773 .P57

Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert
Krondl, Michael
Undergraduate Services – TX773 .K7154 2011

Sweet Serendipity: Delicious Desserts & Devilish Dish
Bruce, Stephens
Undergraduate Services – TX773 .B88 2004

If you’d prefer face-to-face instruction, check out the Bloomington Cooking School calendar. A sweet and savory pie making class will be offered on Saturday, February 25th, from 11am-1pm.

For more books about cooking in general, be sure to check out the Drake Cookbook Collection located in the HPER Library.


A Virtual Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Tradition

For most college students, Thanksgiving symbolizes a much-needed break in a long Fall Semester, trips home to visit friends and family, football, and perhaps most importantly, food. Most of us went through elementary school hearing romanticized stories about pilgrims, Native Americans, and the first feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, it is less likely that we have considered the actual origins and practices of the first Thanksgiving. Curious about the historical origins of the Thanksgiving holiday? Wonder why we eat turkey instead of chicken or pork on Thanksgiving? Interested in knowing where many of our favorite Thanksgiving foods come from? Then check out these resources to learn more about our Thanksgiving dinner traditions and how they have evolved over the years.

The Documents Behind Thanksgiving
Check out this blog post, courtesy of the Government Information and Kent Cooper Services Department at the Herman B Wells Library, which provides links to historic documents explaining how Thanksgiving became an official national holiday.

“Give Thanks, all ye People”
The song “Give Thanks, all ye People” celebrates President Lincoln’s declaration of Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday in 1863. Courtesy of INHarmony: Sheet Music from Indiana and the Indiana University Digital Library Program.

Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday
For an in-depth history of Thanksgiving from the days of the Puritans to the 21st century, read this e-book, available free online for students from IU Bloomington, Columbus, IUPUI, East, and Southeast.

Thanksgiving Maps and Posters
Librarians from the Geology Library have created a list of maps using a Geographic Information System (GIS) program to illustrate which U.S. states produce the largest quantities of some of our favorite Thanksgiving foods.

Drake Cookbook Collection
For recipe ideas to help create your own Thanksgiving feast, check out the Drake Cookbook Collection, available in the HPER Library.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America
Use this database to find information about Thanksgiving or about the origin, history, and use of individual food items.

Thanksgiving feast

With all of these resources, the next time you sit down with your family to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast, you’ll wow them by telling them where sweet potatoes come from and astound them with your knowledge of why pumpkin pie is the traditional Thanksgiving dessert! Even if you choose to keep this knowledge to yourself, at least you can give thanks for the library’s virtual cornucopia of information! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the break!


A feast is worth a thousand words

Pumpkin pie and whipped cream dreams from

Thanksgiving…it’s just a few weeks away and I can already  smell the pumpkin pie. Whether you’re looking forward to a traditional turkey dinner, or this is the first time you’re experiencing our American tradition of eating too much and being thankful for it, we have some appetizing books to get you ready for the big day! Forget all those deadlines looming just around the corner and take a few minutes to remember all you have to be thankful for…family, friends, the Internet and food!

These titles can all be found in the IC Undergraduate Collection on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Wells Library West Tower. If they’re not on the shelf, try finding them in the special features display across from the IC Reference Desk…this month, it’s all about the food! Last, but not least, find all these books and more on our great list of cookbooks and foodie reading on Worldcat.

An Edible History of Humanity (GT 2850 .S73 2009): The bestselling author of “A History of the World in 6 Glasses” brilliantly charts how foods have transformed human culture through the ages. (WorldCat review)

Food Matters (RA 784 .B55 2009): From the award-winning guru of culinary simplicity and author of the bestselling “How to Cook Everything” and “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” comes a plan for responsible eating that’s as good for the planet as it is for the waistline. (WorldCat review)

In Defense of Food (RA 784 .P643 2008): “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan’s thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry… (WorldCat review)

Righteous Porkchop (TC 930.2 .N56): Part memoir, part expose, “Righteous Porkchop” offers a searing account of the factory farm industry–and the effects the techniques have on health and well-being–by an engaging crusader who finds love and purpose along the way. (WorldCat review)

Food: the History of Taste (TX 353 .F668 2007): Traces the history of food from the hunters and gatherers to the modern consumer age and a new landscape for gastronomy.

From Hardtack to Home fries (TX 360 .U6 H33 2002): As any cook knows, every meal, and every diet, has a story — whether it relates to presidents and first ladies or to the poorest of urban immigrants. From Hardtack to Home Fries brings together the best and most inspiring of those stories, from the 1840s to the present, focusing on a remarkable assembly of little-known or forgotten Americans who determined what our country ate during some of its most trying periods… (WorldCat review)

Cooking Green (TX653 .H49 2009): The foods we eat and the ways we buy, store and prepare them are significant contributors to global warming. This information-packed volume, from cookbook author and founder Heyhoe, provides detailed guidance for those looking to make their cooking and eating habits earth-friendlier. (Publishers Weekly)

American History Cookbook (TX 715 .Z36): This book uses historical commentary and recipes to trace the history of American cooking from the first European contact with Native Americans to the 1970s.  (Abstract)

The New Taste of Chocolate (TX 767 .C5 P74 2001): Presilla, a marketing consultant for a Latin American chocolate producer, explains the history, science and production of what many consider the world’s most delectable snack.  (Publishers Weekly)