Film Review: Real Hunger Games are Exposed in ‘A Place at the Table’

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CHICAGO – There has been an attitude shift in America in a couple of generations toward the poor and unlucky in life. What was once a campaign to end poverty and take care of that part of the population, has turned into a demonization of them. This is one of the main themes in “A Place at the Table,” an overview of the continuing hunger problem in America.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

“A Place at the Table” reveals not pure starvation as the main problem, but “food insecurity,” as in where is the next meal coming from. What was once a system of food banks in America that nearly eradicated the problem in the late 1970s, has turned into a political process of endless hearings and the famous “makers versus takers” assertion in the previous presidential campaign. Filmmakers Kristi Jacobson and Laura Silverbush explore the current food insecurity through statistics, interviews and actual victims of the circumstance.

The documentary opens with some eye-opening statistics. While programs for the poor seem to be the first victims of budget cuts, federal subsidies for farmers continue – including for the corporations that are increasingly taking over the food producing industry – even though the policies were designed to help stabilize pricing during the Depression. This is a telling example of how lobbying and legislative advantages for corporations take precedent over feeding the poor.

Another revelation that comes out of the film is that obesity is tied into food insecurity. Because subsidized foods are often the cheapest to produce (think high fructose corn syrup), the cheap products from those subsidies become what poverty level buyers consume. So part of food insecurity is “food deserts” (areas with inaccessibility to healthier foods), lack of education on nutrition and volunteer food banks also doling out what is cheapest.

“A Place at the Table” has a limited release nationwide on March 1st, plus release on iTunes and Video On Demand. See local listings for theaters, showtimes and channel locations. Directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush. Rated “PG.” The filmmakers have set up a website for more information, click on ’Take Part.’

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Place at the Table”

A Place at the Table
A Family Struggles with Food Insecurity in ‘A Place at the Table’
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Place at the Table”

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