Headline English: Going Hungry for the Hungry

Today I’m going to try another “Headline English” post. First I’ll give the background (the overall story or context of the headline), then we’ll talk about the specific words in the headline.

Headline: Anti-Hunger Advocates Fast to Protest U.S. Budget Cuts (from Voice of America).

Background:  The United States Congress (our elected national representatives; the House of Representatives and Senate) in Washington, D.C. has been trying to lower (make less) the amount the government spends each year, since the U.S. currently (now) has a very large budget deficit.  A budget is a description of how much you make (income) and how much you spend (expenses). A deficit is when you spend more than you make – usually not a good idea! But in order to reduce the deficit, Congress has to cut (eliminate) some popular programs.  Among the programs being considered for reduction or elimination are those that provide emergency food aid (help; assistance) for victims (people who are hurt by something or someone) of disasters (a bad event which affects many people, such as an earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes).  Some organizations want to stop Congress from making these cuts for people who are hungry.

Behind the Headline: The prefix “anti-” before a word means against or the opposite.  Anti-Hunger means you are against (don’t like, don’t want) hunger (the condition of being hungry, without enough food to eat).  An advocate is a person who is trying to defend some idea or organization, or who wants to change the political approach to an issue.  To fast means not to eat food on purpose (by choice; voluntarily).  This is sometimes done for religious reasons (Christians, Muslims, and Jews all fast for various occasions), sometimes for health reasons.  But it has also become a way of publicizing (making people know about) some political problem.  To protest means to fight against something in order to change it.  Budget cuts are reductions in the amount of money an organization (like the government) spends.

So anti-hunger groups are trying to stop Congress from reducing the amount the U.S. government spends on helping those who are in need of food during an emergency.

If you live outside the United States, is your government facing (having to deal with; take care of) similar problems of budget deficits?



Photo Credit: Voice of America (Public Domain)



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16 Responses to Headline English: Going Hungry for the Hungry

  1. Hilario says:

    Indeed yes, we have budget deficit this side of the pond, here in Europe and specially in Greece, Portugal, Iceland, Ireland and …maybe here in Spain. The longlasting unemployment protection wages are almost exhausted and goverments are breaking the rope through the weakest point once again. Even to make things worst according to Spanish banking laws, houses are not collateral assets in mortgages loans, so banks are taken not only the house from people who can´t afford mortage instalment but expropiated people have still to pay the whole amount of the mortage loan or life. A new form of slavery for sure. Politicians should turn their eyes to other point, by severely taxing rich people and financial filibusters instead of charging once and again against low income working people. In my opinion the extrem income disparity is something absolutely obscene and morally unacceptable.

  2. Hello friends all over the world
    Unfortunately one serious capitalism crisis is on its way and will strike everybody in the world. It is the periodic phenomenon that we have to deal with because of the money. Last century, precisely in 1929, one big crash hit the stock exchange in USA. As a consequence in 1949 the world entered in the Second World War. Millions of lives lost, millions of dollars spent in weapons, blood and suffering, tears. The next crisis is not far. Just a matter of time. Nobody can predict when it will come. The next war will take almost the mankind away from the earth. The bible says it is the hecatomb. God will call each one to explain their sins. Those who are clean will be lifted to heaven and those who are dirty will be burned in the fire of hell. Whether you believe or not is up to you, but is advisable to take care. It is worth watching carefully.
    Aecio from beautiful green and yellow Brazil

  3. sara says:

    Dear Dr.jeff,
    Thanks for your excellent explanation.I think “Headline English posts” are kind of the most useful ones.
    Yes we do have budget deficit here in Iran,but it doesn’t sound like a big problem!!!no serious plan at all for solving it!

  4. Peter says:

    Morning my dear Eslpo mates:)
    May luck be your only entourage in your new challenge to achieve another day.
    My Blog man:)
    Be brave that life is jumping into the unknown
    So,go conquer
    May all the forces with you in the endeavor

    Your cyber friend

  5. Peter says:

    We are not defined by money,yet money defines us
    So true,isn’t it
    What do think my dear profs?
    Not too shabby:)
    We what did you expect
    I am made of Eslpod:)))
    No mean to be cocky
    Trying to be funny
    Fall flat,didn’t it?
    Me ,and my ways
    I am stupid ,but charmingly stupid:))

  6. keivan says:

    budget deficit is almost every country’s problem.but in my opinion there are many ways for lowering the amount.like military budget.

  7. Alexandre says:

    Hi Jeff.
    It is my first time here.
    I am from São Paulo – Brasil. And this kind of problem you just demonstrated has been happening every year , every new representatives got elected here.
    But, unfortunately, the brazilian government always cut the budget from health instead of cutting from their private expenses.
    We are facing this and nobody protests. What a pity.


  8. Hugo says:

    Jeff, you had a cold in English Cafe 288 (it maybe recorded in an early time), hope you have fully recovered. Thank you and Lucy, take care!

    Hugo from U chicago

  9. BAKHTIAR says:


  10. Valerie says:

    It’s very terrible situation, especially for these people who is in need. It’s good idea for government to reduce some expenses but I’m sure that there are a lot of programs that are not so important for the citizens. Like many other governments, they, for sure, spend huge amount of money on things that only the government needs, and if they cut this spending no one among normal people of the country will notice. Unfortunately, they punish the most powerless group of people for their own mistakes and abuse in the economics.

  11. Ziba says:

    Dear Jeff,
    Thank you for news. It’s a usual thing that happened in most countries every day/ week/ month/ year with different names.
    We used to hear it. It’s common.
    In my country there is, too.
    Recently our government has decided to stop increasing of salaries, despite increasing cost of living and prices every day. So people in low class are living very hard. The prices are increasing every minutes. When you get up in the morning you shocked while our government doesn’t do any thing to stop it, instead it decreases the benefits of jobs for example mines.
    We are sentenced to live either we are rich or poor.
    Thanks’ again Jeff, the text gave me very useful words.
    Best regards,
    Ziba (Iran)

  12. emiliano says:

    Poverty has not any power so to our politicians it is very easy to reduce resources which are destined to solve some of the problems
    these poor people have all over the world.
    Poor people don´t use to vote, it is difficult and lot of countries does not have any chance for their citizens of doing such a thing
    as to vote with freedom.

    Even here, as Hilario has said so good (your thoughts are mine too) the politicians efforts are directed to solve another subjects as the
    financial problems of “the global economy” which subsist in their countries.
    In Spain we are nearly to have more than four millions and a half of unemployed people what it is really difficult of imagining.
    Every one unemployed person could be a tragedy for him/her and their families, and what is even worst without any bit of hope
    for the immediate future.
    Yesterday my pupil and friend Ana was telling me what is happening in the company she is working, the last Friday seven of her work mates
    were fired at the moment, without any previous advice. They were in and out of the work the same day, one by one received the same
    advise: “don´t come tomorrow you are fired”
    Ana and her other work mates were really afraid of being the next to be fired, and incredible bad situation which is the rule now in
    this country.
    Sometimes I do think that I would not like to be young or be working with forty or fifty at this moment, my time was quite different from
    the time we are living now.
    We use to have less comfort and things but living was easier than now.
    You get a job, a flat, a nice boy or girl, and future was ahead of you somehow clear and soft.

    If the governments cut resources to help the necessities of so many people I can´t imagine what is going to happen here or other
    places…..well we are seeing know what is the result in North Africa where so many thousands have nothing, no work, no hopes, no
    help, no future only necessities.
    Portugal has been the recent one to fall in financial crack…..which one would be the next in Europe?
    What about people in these so wealthy countries before? Are their governments in good disposition of helping them? and helping the
    more necessities of other countries?
    Well, USA is lowering the amount destined to help foreign countries…….what about Europe?
    Is anybody talking about the 0,7 % destined to help the third world?
    Our failed president Mr Rodriguez was talking about this matter five or six years ago, but he did not talk any more about it for
    the last three years as it´s natural, if he can´t solve Spaniard problems who may hope he or the other politicians are going to
    do about the subject?.

    Thank you Jeff, always you press your finger in the most critical subjects of the moment, also the vocabulary is incredible good for
    us. New words and subjects which help your pupils to understand the news, the best site, the best teaching and the best incredibles
    Jeff, Lucy and Warren, thank you so much dear teachers.

    Now I have the “GUIDES” in my new iPad what is and incredible good tool. First I listen to the PodCast and afterward I read the Guides
    ………… there is a new tool “Evernote” that helps to have the Guides in the iPad, iPhone, or other smart phones with Android
    yes I am crazy about all these new gadgets which help me with the English and just not to think about so many problems the
    world has.
    It´s really very sad to know there are so many millions of people with big difficulties to survive but we need to have some hope
    there are another good one who are alert about their necessities.
    Here in Spain we have “Caritas” the religious association who are helping poor people every day, distributing hundred – thousand
    meals and garments to the most depressed families.
    It´s necessary that some of our money goes to these helping sites.


  13. emiliano says:

    Sorry by the mistakes, they change the meaning of the phrase, so go ahead with the explanations…
    “we are seeing now what is the result in North Africa….”
    a single “k” at the beginning of a word is a disaster in understanding what I want to say.

    Talking about this so big problem, I do hope that as soon as possible peace and a good
    solution comes for all these countries and specially now for Libya.
    From here all my solidarity with them all.
    Another example: an incredible bad situation…not “and incredible bad situation which is the rule…..”

    A good exercise Jeff, just writing and seeing afterward the result and the mistakes.
    Very very useful, thanks a lot.
    Thank you Ziba to tell us what is happening in your country as it seems that is only here
    or other well known countries where economic problems do exists.

    Solidarity with our close near people is the best way to act in these moments, also thinking carefully what every one
    of us could do with our votes, work, money or help.
    It´s even necessary to ask our governments about their responsibilities in doing so bad irresponsible work as they
    had done.

    All the best.

  14. Hilario says:

    Headline: 366 bigger Spanish tax evaders managed escape Treasury: According to Oecd data more than 7 billion of dollars are kept offshored without taxing in the socalled Tax Paradises, which of converted into tax income could alleviate a significative part of the general budget problem we´re now globally facing. This is more than black money blood money, with no exageration at all. It comes directly from corrupted politicians, rogue bankers, pseudo real state businessmen, rotten patriot fake rich men, narco dealers, weapon traffickers and some other in garden´s flowers. Relating only to Spain 40.000 million dollars last year were left in Switzerland, Bahamas, Panama and the sort of like these places. This yearly missing budget could be enough for not having cuttings in any way

  15. Ziba says:

    hi Emiliano,
    thank u for ur kind reply.
    sincerely yours,

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jeff,
    As my compatriots have writen, Sara and Ziba, we have a very large large budget dificit here in Iran, but our government doesn’t like to talk about it with people since its leaders always hide the reality and act as if we have the most powerful and honest government not only in the world but in the universe!!!! They steal people’s fortune to just launch money to some gangs in the middle east that I don’t want to name them, and make their own people poorer and poorer for satisfying their selfishness, their personal fortunes, gaining power and political issues. So they don’t care about hunger in the country!!! They don’t think about a right solution but to cut people’s right and money to compensate the dificit. It’s their solution!!!! I wrote so much that would be dangerous for meeeeeeeeeeeee.

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