The League of Women Voters in Summit and Portage counties and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank are partnering during Hunger Action Month to bring the community the award-winning documentary "A Place at the Table" Sept. 26. The screening is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Tallmadge High School Auditorium, 140 N. Munroe Road.
Admission to see "A Place at the Table" is free and open to the public. Those attending are urged to bring a non-perishable or canned food donation. The Foodbank's Super Six most-needed items are cereal, peanut butter and canned vegetables, tuna, beef stew and soup.
Film to inspire,
"A Place at the Table" shows how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for America and how food access issues could be solved once and for all -- if the public decides that making healthy food available and affordable is best for all. The Foodbank and League of Women Voters hope the screening will create awareness and spark ideas here for solutions.
The film follows three families struggling with food insecurity: Rosie, a fifth-grader who depends on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; Barbie, a single mother who grew up in poverty and tries to provide a better life for her kids; and Tremonica, a second-grader suffering from asthma and obesity which are exacerbated by the poor quality of the food her hard-working mother can afford.
A Participant Media presentation, "A Place at the Table" is being released to theaters and DVD by Magnolia Pictures. Participant's other films that inspire social change include "The Help," "An Inconvenient Truth," "Contagion," "Waiting for Superman" and "Lincoln."
After the screening, a panel discussion will feature Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; Paula Prentice, vice president of Summit County Council and health and human services chair; and Mary Helms, coordinator of Fish and Loaves Food Pantry.
Prentice has taken the Foodbank's "SNAP Challenge," committing to eat all of her meals from a limited food budget for one week to get a sense of what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), commonly known as food stamps, provides monthly benefits to assist families in need but often the benefits are inadequate and families still struggle to put food on the table.
Prentice must use the average SNAP benefit of $4.50 per person per day for all food and beverages. She must decide which groceries to buy, and cannot eat food that she purchased prior to starting the Challenge or accept food from family, friends or co-workers. Prentice will share her SNAP experience as part of the panel discussion.
The non-profit Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank provides food to more than 500 hunger-relief programs such as food pantries and hot meal sites in 8 counties: Summit, Portage, Medina, Stark, Carroll, Holmes, Tuscarawas and Wayne. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 20.6 million pounds of food providing 17.2 million meals.