I last blogged about the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in September as part of Hunger Action Month. At the time, local restaurants were helping the food bank raise money for their Food for Kids program. Now, the food bank is sponsoring a movie screening to raise awareness about American’s underfed families. The screening will feature a new documentary called A Place at the Table. The film, brought to us by the people responsible for Food, Inc. (2006), combines the stories of real people with commentary from experts on hunger and nutrition. The film’s creators, as well as groups around the country, are hoping the film will spark a nationwide conversation about how to end hunger for nearly 50 million Americans.
Starting an honest conversation is important, because there is an ongoing problem with misconceptions and misinformation when it comes to hunger in America. Proponents of food programs are constantly trying to set the record straight. In February, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities discredited many of the details behind recent efforts to incorrectly portray safety net programs as wasteful spending. OKPolicy Blog just discussed how an Oklahoma proposal to increase work requirements for SNAP recipients would penalize underemployed Oklahomans. (SNAP is the program formerly known as food stamps). OKPolicy rightly pointed out that many part-time employees are unable to work full-time due to the cost of childcare, cutbacks by their employer and other legitimate reasons. The government may cut back on access to SNAP, but the need for low-income Oklahomans to feed their families will undoubtedly remain. So what happens then? Hopefully this new documentary will help illustrate what happens at the intersection of policy and real life in a way that statistics alone are unable to do.
The screening of A Place at the Table will take place at the Circle Cinema on Friday, March 8, 2013. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and is followed by a live panel discussion. The movie will also be showing at the Circle Cinema the following week, so be sure to check their site for times and ticket prices if you are interested. Be on the lookout next week for a follow-up post. I hope to bring back some of the highlights from the event, especially the discussion following the film.
- For readers outside the Tulsa area, you can look for the film at your local theater or search for it on iTunes.
- Be sure to check out the official movie site which offers more information about the film, the issues it covers and links to other resources.
- NPR recently covered the release of A Place at the Table on their website.
- To track attempts to limit access to SNAP in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s page “Check the Safety Net: Bills affecting low-income Oklahomans.”