Why are almost 50 million Americans hungry? Why are more than 23.5 million kids and teens overweight or obese? What triggers and connects these trends? What systems and institutions perpetuate food insecurity, and what reforms will ensure that people get the healthy food they need?
In an effort to engage communities in a conversation about these questions, the League of Women Voters in Summit and Portage counties and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank invite area citizens to take their place in the fight to end hunger and ensure that all children and families have access to healthy, affordable foods. The League of Women Voters and the Foodbank will present a screening of the acclaimed documentary "A Place at the Table" Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. at the Tallmadge High School auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.
"A Place at the Table" is being screened as part of Participant Media's "Take Your Place" social action campaign.
"The film uses the documentary to inspire community conversations about hunger and obesity and get people involved in efforts to address this problem," said LWV spokesperson Susan Yatsu.
The THS auditorium is at 140 N. Munroe Road. The film is about 90 minutes. Following the screening, a panel discussion about making healthy food available and affordable for all will take place. Among the panelists will be Dan Flowers, President and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; and Paula Prentice, vice president of County Council and health and human services chair.
League of Women Voter groups partnering with the Foodbank to present the screening are from Akron, Hudson, Tallmadge, Kent and Northern Portage County. Ohio Governor John Kasich and Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic have issued resolutions designating September as Hunger Action Month. In Northeast Ohio, one in seven people struggle with hunger.
About the film
In the film, "A Place at the Table", directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush follow three families struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a fifth-grader who often depends on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a second-grader who suffers from asthma, obesity and related health issues, which are exacerbated by the poor quality of the food her hard-working mother can afford.
"A Place at the Table" examines how hunger and obesity pose serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and how food access issues could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides -- as they have in the past -- that making healthy affordable food available is in the best interest of all.
"We're excited to be working with thoughtful partners locally and others all around the country who are also planning events with this film, LWV's Yatsu said. "A Place at the Table", a Participant Media presentation, is being released to theaters and DVD by Magnolia Pictures. Participant's other films that also inspire social change include "Waiting for Superman," "The Help," "An Inconvenient Truth," "Contagion" and "Lincoln."
About the Foodbank and League of Women Voters
The non-profit Foodbank provides food to more than 500 hunger-relief programs, such as food pantries and hot meal sites, in 8 counties: Summit, Portage, Stark, Medina, Carroll, Holmes, Tuscarawas and Wayne. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 20.6 million pounds of food providing 17.2 million meals locally for people in need.
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues. LWV influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League's public policy position on meeting basic human needs means they support programs that prevent and reduce poverty, provide decent standards for food, clothing and shelter, and promote self-sufficiency.