A Place At The Table

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I had the pleasure of watching this film in my community nutrition class at NYU and was deeply moved by the unveiling of the harsh realities of food scarcity today and how it contributes to the paradox of poverty stricken families and the increasing rates of obesity.  This film truly resonated with me in a million different ways.. 


The film explains with devastating simplicity why so many go hungry in a country with more than enough food to go round. A Place At The Table tackles a seemingly straightforward, solvable problem, but the cycle has been continuing for decades and we haven’t reduced hunger. 



Many view imagine starving children in a distant third world country. Sadly, this vision is false. It’s a very real issue for many people here in the United States, the wealthiest nation in the world.



Despite having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans, the U.S. allows nearly 50 million people to be food insecure, which means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. 




Today, Food Stamps are only temporarily allocated for those who are below poverty level, and not for those to depend on for a long length of time. Sadly, the U.S. appears to focus more on other countries to assist with hunger.


Did you know that the US is listed as having one of the highest rates of food insecurity compared to other countries?









Fifty million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; 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 issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.



Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides — as they have in the past — that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all.






Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and a respected expert on nutrition and the intersection of nutrition and commerce, explain the evolution of farm subsidies and how these subsidies and commodity crops directly affect the prices of processed foods, making them the only really affordable choice for those with limited means.



  • 1995 has spent 20 billion subsidies on farming

  • USDA is the main support for mega farming and farming corporations 
  • 84% subs – corn – make products super cheap, super processes
  • fruits and vegetables – get nothing and are small farmers








  • 1 out of every 2 kids is said to be on food assistance

  • Did you know that the typical student lunch is at max $2.68 cents on lunch and after paying everyone its comes down to $100

  • Reimbursement for food to public schools hasn’t changed since 1973

  • Too much fat, sugar, sodium, not enough fruit and vegetables





Through the passing of the recent Farm Bill they added only a mere 6 cents to lunch foods, but actually took that money from food stamps




 The allocated money for foods stamps is said to be cut by billions of dollars over the next ten years.




We spend 700 billion on bank bailout but only 4.5 billion to improve school lunches?



 People in the film: 





  • Takes two buses and travels a hour each way to go to the store
  • To qualify for food stamps a family of 4 has to make less than 29k a year
  • Barbie has two kid and is on food stamps, but they can only last 3 weeks out of the month, but once she gets a job she doesn’t qualify.
  • She was $2.00 over the limit of income and she couldn’t get $1.00 of food stamps
  • For children who are developing it is detrimental to a child’s health if they don’t receive proper nutrition. Nutritional deprivation can have life long consequence for a child
  • Child malnourishment effects cognitive development, ability to get along with others, constantly sick, getting infections due to malnourishment in addition to growth and brain development. 



Woman in Mississippi


  • Woman has 3 boys and she cooks at a local shop
  • Her town only has 3 grocery stores
  • One store will have 3 bananas, vegetables are just available in a can
  • She takes a 45 minute ride to another town to buy fresh food, those without transportation can’t get there and its expensive in gas to drive there



Through each of these stories they examine the key factors contributing to the hunger crisis in America, illustrating how our nation’s food distribution system, social support programs and even well-meaning charitable organizations allow the cycle to continue.












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