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Last night, several Food Bank staffers attended a screening of ‘A Place at the Table’, a new documentary from the filmmakers of ‘Food Inc.’, about hunger in America. The documentary, so far, has gotten a lot of attention from media outlets such as The Washington Post to The Daily Show and NPR. It juxtaposes stories and faces of hunger with advocates like Jeff Bridges (‘The Big Lebowski’) and Tom Colicchio (‘Top Chef’) sharing why hunger is an important issue for them.
More than 50 million people in the United States are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. Let that number sink in. 50 MILLION. That’s, essentially, the population of Georgia five times over. For ACFB, 16.9% of people living in our service area (29 counties across metro Atlanta and north Georgia) are food insecure. There’s a common idea that homeless people are the ones who rely on food assistance the most. In fact, while they do need help, kids, seniors, and those who hold down jobs but are not making enough to make ends meet (the ‘working poor’) make up the largest part of the population that need food assistance.
Given those numbers, it is impossible to deny that hunger in America and Georgia is a real and significant problem. But it is a problem that also has real and significant solutions. The documentary speaks to advocacy and actions taken at a government level. We believe there couldn’t be a better time than now to use our collective voice to speak up, and if you’re ready, we want you as one of our advocacy champions. But if you want to get involved in other ways, there are plenty of things you can do to help fight hunger in our country and community. You could volunteer, hold a food drive, learn more about hunger and poverty, teach others--it takes that spark and effort to help make a difference and make change possible. It will take all of us, uniting in a variety of ways to make a difference in the lives of hungry people everywhere.
"I've been doing this work for almost 40 years, and there's a window of opportunity right now. We've never had a movie like this. The issues have never been so clear. People have never been so interested in food and healthy food and access to food. I think we've never been so aware of the consequences--the consequences of not having healthy food and what that will do to our nation". --Bill Bolling
The first step we want you to take right now is to see ‘A Place at the Table’. The filmmakers have made this an accessible film--you can see it at Midtown Art Cinema, order it On Demand or rent and download it from iTunes. Then, we want to know: What moved you? What inspired you? How did it make you feel? What gifts do you have that could make a difference in the fight against hunger? We’re listening--leave a comment and let’s get the conversation started!