Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Place at the Table

In our last staff meeting, we watched an informative documentary - filmed in 2012 - that focused on the hunger crisis that still exists in the Unites States today. The documentary told a powerful narrative largely through the stories of three people suffering from food insecurity:
  • Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two children;
  • Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and
  • Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health problems are exacerbated by the largely-empty calories her hard-working mother can afford.

We learned that there were about 50 million Americans who were food insecure in 2012. This was approximately 1 in 6 of the overall population, with the proportion of children facing food insecurity even higher at about 1 in 4. 

The documentary revealed a poignant truth that hunger poses a serious threat to the socioeconomic and cultural dynamics in the U.S. The reason why people are going hungry is not because of food shortages but because of poverty. While charities can alleviate suffering, long-term transformations are shaped by public policy. 

Additionally, watching these stories has not only taught us new facts about our country but has also presented a call-to-action to make a difference. Our goal should be to make healthy food available and affordable for everyone. It would also be instructive to see how comparable food insecurity issues in El Salvador are to the issues in the U.S. and also see how these issues can be tackled.

Thus, we look forward to more discussions about "A Place at the Table" and the hunger crisis at large at our next week's staff meeting!

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