"50 million Americans exist without enough to eat in a nation with more than enough food." This is just one of the startling realities presented in the new documentary about food insecurity in the United States, A Place at the Table. A Place at the Table introduces the viewer to Barbie, Rosie, and Tremonica, three individuals who, with their families, and like many around the country, are struggling with food insecurity. Barbie, a single mother of two in Philadelphia shows us the cyclic struggle of poverty and hunger that many parents experience, with little hope of providing a better life for herself and her kids. Rosie, a sweet fifth-grader in Colorado, is direct proof of the negative impact food insecurity has on school-age children, as she speaks about her difficulty concentrating and doing well in school. Tremonica is a second-grader in Mississippi, the state with the highest rate of food insecurity and obesity; her story shows us the unfortunate reality of an unhealthy diet made up of empty calories, because that is all her hardworking mother can afford. The film also covers policy, politics, and how the actions, or often inaction, of those in Washington have thus far failed to make healthy foods accessible for all.
Activists, experts, policy makers and ordinary citizens alike have responded to the film with resounding support. Despite its limited release, the film has been deemed a must-see for all, with the aim of raising awareness about the inexcusable poverty and hunger faced by 1/6th of our population. It is in this spirit that the Texas Hunger Initiative and Baylor School of Social Work are teaming up to host a community viewing of A Place at the Table. In addition to viewing the documentary, a panel discussion will follow. Speakers include Matt Hess, Executive Director of World Hunger Relief, Inc, Dr. Gaynor Yancey of the Baylor University School of Social Work, and Cheryl Pooler, from Waco ISD Homeless Outreach Services. These experts will be able to speak to hunger as it is experienced more locally, and answer questions that may arise during the film. This event will give members of the community an opportunity to engage, educate themselves, and find out what steps we can take to help make our state and nation food secure.
I'm excited to see what further insight I gain regarding hunger in America, after my trip to DC in May!
- From the desk of Mrs. M