I am lucky enough to be connected to a great group of community minded people here in Nashville through our Nashville Food Bloggers group. Not only do we support each other through our kitchen successes and failures, but we oftentimes get involved great movements that support our neighbors near and far. [see : Sweet Relief 2.0 : Hurricane Sandy and StreetSmart]
Our friend and Nashville mover and shaker Jennifer Justus, a food/culture reporter for the Tennessean, recently reached out to us after she had seen a new documentary called A Place at the Table. She was so very moved by the film that she immediately reached out to a network she knew would respond. Thanks to her, we are all going to have the opportunity to see this film at the end of this month.
So, what’s this film about? First, watch the trailer:
Essentially, although our nation has a glut of food that gets tossed at the end of each business day [have you ever walked behind your local grocery store, by the dumpsters, around quitting time?] there are 16 million [one out of every five] children in our country that are going hungry. One in five.
In conjunction with hunger, our country is also setting up the next generations to live shorter and unhealthier lives than their parents due to issues stemming from childhood obesity. This is thanks to a lack of access to healthy and fresh foods for those living on federal assistance programs.
Even this federal assistance program [SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program]] is at risk for severe budget cuts.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself what this means for you, what you can do. Well, honestly? A lot. Even from your tiny apartment in your tiny town. Start here:
1. Connect with these great leading organizations here in our country that are leading the charge to end hunger once and for all :
Each of these organizations has mailing lists, calls to action, suggested next steps. Donate your time, your letter-writing abilities, your knowledge and your money, if possible. Each little action step adds up.
2. Send a letter to your local congress person. It’s easy. Visit this link, fill in your contact information, add something to the form letter if you’d like and then click send. Easy, right? I’ve done this one myself.
3. Attend the screening of A Place at the Table in your hometown. If you live in Nashville, come join me and other Nashville Food Bloggers here:
Monday April 29, 2013 6:00 p.m. [movie begins promptly at 6:30]
Downtown Presbyterian : 154 5th Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219
4. If you’re a Nashville resident, look into supporting and getting involved with Vanderbilt University’s Mobile Market. An entirely student/volunteer-run effort, the Mobile Market’s mission is to provide a sustainable source of healthy foods in low/no access neighborhoods. This program not only meets an immediate need for community members but also educates a new generation [college students] in various community development techniques that the graduating students will continue to use and employ in their post-college careers.
5. Play around in the kitchen. When you go grocery shopping next, keep in mind what types of food are eligible to be covered by the SNAP program and make one of these recipes that some of my Nashville food blogger pals have shared with us today:
I’ll be updating this page as we find out more information about the upcoming screening and other action opportunities locally. Make sure to check in, especially if you’re planning on attending the screening later this month. I’d also love to know how you’re planning on getting involved in the fight to end hunger, so please leave a comment on this post!