The movie A Place at the Table was just released this past Friday, March 1, 2013. This compelling documentary tells the story of 50 million American that struggle on a day-to-day basis to provide food for themselves and their loved ones. America is one of the richest countries in the world and yet has to battle hunger. Americans and the government are in denial and are turning a blind eye on what society really needs, nutrition. Jeff Bridges who helped with the documentary and leads multiple organizations in aid of ending world hunger especially in America. “People are ashamed of acknowledging and so is the government. We’re in denial” said Bridges. The documentary talks about food insecurity which is when people are not sure of where their next meal is coming from and also food deserts which are places with barely any access to healthy foods. The follows people in three different states, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. Mississippi being the highest rated place of food insecurity and obesity according to the documentary.
In Colorado, there is a young girl named Rosie that is in the fifth grade and is living in poverty. Her teacher and local pastor try and help the people of the community by providing food bags and warm meals after school. The teacher often feels bad giving families the food bags because they mostly contain starches and foods full of sugar, but she says that some effort is better than none. Rosie lives with six other people in her house and it is hard for them to make food last. Her mother works at a local restaurant making only $121.00 every two weeks. Hunger is prevalent in their town and the people are desperate. Hunger has affected Rosie’s academics and her ability to focus. Rosie’s dream is to be on the honor roll and for her future children not to live in the conditions that she does.
Next, there is Barbie from Philadelphia who is raising her two young children. Barbie has been out of work for sometime now and is getting help from the state. Although she is getting food stamps there is not enough money on those cards to help her give her children adequate food. Her youngest child Aidan is suffering from speech delay and other illnesses because of his poor nutrition. Barbie and other mothers from the area went with a doctor to lobby at one of congress’s meetings to share their experiences and their desperate need for help. Barbie now has a full-time job but it is still not enough to support and feed her herself let alone her children.
In Mississippi, there was a second grade teacher named Odessa, who was just diagnosed with diabetes last year. She wants to help her students understand what healthy eating is and what choices they can make when they go to the supermarket with their parents. She introduced honeydew to her students and they all enjoyed the experience and the taste. Education is key to helping the youth.
The government is taking money out of these programs to fund other things. Nutrition for America’s children and families should be a main priority in order to have a thriving country. Charity is not going to solve the problem. This documentary is very educational and moving and helps individuals see what is going on in America. This documentary makes individuals aware and shows that hunger us real, not only abroad but in our backyard.