'A Place at the Table' Is A Must-See

Jeff Bridges in A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Originally posted on Kim O'Donnel's Meat Lover's Meatless Tour & More.

From the Department of Stating the Obvious: "No one is pro-hunger."

So why is it that we've got 50 million Americans who don't know where their next meal is coming from? They are "food insecure," as the USDA likes to say. 

The statistics translate to about one in six hungry bellies, and for kids, it translates to one in five. Just take a moment to let that sink in: One in five American children is chronically hungry.

"It's about patriotism really. If another country was doing this to our kids, we would be at war."

When you've got more than enough to eat, it's all too easy to forget about those who don't. But the new documentary, A Place at the Table, forces us to face up to this horrifying state of affairs that arguably is on the scale of a public health emergency.

At an Amherst, Mass., screening and panel discussion last week, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said that hunger in America is "the moral issue of our time."

In the film, you meet the myriad faces of hunger – a single mom of two in North Philadelphia, a third grader in rural Colorado (as well as that town's police officer), and a Mississippi second grader, who’s clinically obese (yes, obesity and hunger can go hand in hand). Their stories, up close and personal, will split you open, and fill you with both sadness and exasperation.

As actor Jeff Bridges (who founded the End Hunger Network) said in one of his many cameos sprinkled throughout the film, "It's about patriotism really. If another country was doing this to our kids, we would be at war."

Go see this movie and bring two or three others. Or download it on iTunes. Then raise a little hell up on Capitol Hill. You can pass on what Rep. McGovern said last week: "Hunger is a political condition. We have everything we need to solve hunger – except political will."

And if you can, support or volunteer at your local food bank.