COMMUNITY CINEMA SCREENING: ‘A Place at the Table’ awaits you Nov. 20 |

COMMUNITY CINEMA SCREENING: ‘A Place at the Table’ awaits you Nov. 20

Paula Struckman
Cultural Confidential Contributor
Actor Jeff Bridges, founder of the End Hungry Network.
Submitted photo |


Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m. screening, 6:30 p.m. wine and cheese reception

Central Library Community Room, located at Fifth and Grand

More info: Call Mesa County library at 970-243-4442 or visit


• Mary Beth Luedtke, program director, Kids Aid Backpack Program

• Vanessa Carter, dietician, D51 Nutrition Services

• Diana Tarasiewicz, chef, D51 Nutrition Services

• Gai Wildermuth-Gunter, Community Food Bank

• Gretchen Reist Henderson, New Grid Creatives, moderator

This Community Cinema Film is sponsored by Chevron, Mesa County Libraries, Talon Wine Brands and KAFM 88.1 Community Radio.

Everyone deserves a place at the table, a table with healthful food including fresh vegetables and fruit. Why this is not available to everyone, how it happens, what the consequences are to society, and the possible solutions are explored in 84 sobering minutes during Community Cinema’s free documentary screening Nov. 20.

Perhaps you think hunger (now known as food insecurity) does not exist, but the documentary film, “A Place at the Table,” is an eye-opener. The first example of food insecurity really hits home in Collbran, Colo.

Follow the experience of a fifth grade child in Plateau Valley where a three-generation family works hard, but is unable to provide food for the table. Listen to Pastor Paul of Collbran talk about his efforts to provide one hot meal weekly for the community, and his trips to The Food Bank of the Rockies in Grand Junction.

Filmmakers Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush take us on a journey through the development of rising food insecurity in the United States from the beginning of food subsidies to help small farmers during the Depression to the evolution of subsidies benefiting major agricorporations. Fresh food deserts exist when truckers find it more profitable to ship to large distribution centers than to rural grocery stores, but access to fresh fruit and vegetables is only one part of poor nutrition.

Affordability is a problem. A family of four making less than $25,000 a year, being eligible for the Food Assistance Program (food stamps), receives approximately $3 per family meal. Carbohydrates, sweets and processed foods, more affordable than fresh foods, fill the plates.

When one thinks of starvation and hunger, one sees TV images of skinny, skeleton-like children. That, however, is not the case in the U.S. Here, more common are photos of the overweight and obese. Obesity is frequently thought of as a result of overeating, but, in reality, it is often a symptom of under-eating nutritional foods. Mississippi is the state with the most obese, but it is also the state with the most food insecurity.

Subsidized school lunch programs are the result of the federal government’s effort to provide one healthful meal a day for children. That subsidy is $.99 per lunch — the retail price of one large apple at the supermarket. Studies show when children are provided with nutritious meals, as in the case of Rosie, the Collbran fifth grader, grades improve remarkably.

Actor Jeff Bridges, founder of the End Hungry Network, is prominently featured in this documentary. When interviewed, Bridges states, “One thing is clear from ‘A Place at the Table’: You cannot answer the question ‘Why are people hungry?’ without also asking ‘Why are people poor?’”

Bridges also remarks that “if another country was doing this to our kids, we’d be at war.”

This well-crafted and beautifully shot film makes the case that hunger has serious economic, social, cultural and educational implications for the nation. “A Place at the Table” will, indeed, provide food for thought.

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