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A Place at the Table

February 13, 2013
 
A powerful and provoking new documentary called A Place at the Table opens at the Embarcadero Center Cinema (Landmark Theatres) in San Francisco and on-demand channels on March 1.
 
Distributed by Magnolia Pictures (who also released Food, Inc.), the film features Jeff Bridges and others describing the problem and proposing solutions. Participant Media, the organization that built action campaigns around the films An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for “Superman" is promoting the film.
 
“We're always trying to explain how hunger can exist in our community — and this film vividly shows how it happens,” says Paul Ash, Executive Director of the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks. “It's sure to spark animated discussions across the country and here in the Bay Area, so we encourage everyone to see the film and get involved in the fight against hunger.”
 

About A Place at the Table

The film explores hunger through the stories of three people struggling with food insecurity:
 
  • Barbie, a single mother in Philadelphia who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids;
  • Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who has trouble concentrating in school because of her hunger; and
  • Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
Experts in public policy and nutrition explore the causes of hunger, the relationships between hunger and obesity, and potential solutions to ending hunger in America once and for all.
 

How our food bank is addressing the problem

A Place at the Table does a wonderful job of portraying the compassionate action of community volunteers and the important role of food banks in providing immediate assistance to people in need. It also shows that some food banks, such as the one that serves Rosie's family, struggle to provide healthy foods — and some volunteers seem apologetic for delivering foods of low nutritional value. Quite appropriately, nutritionists interviewed in the film point out that a better approach is needed.
 
This focus on nutrition is already at the core of the work we do at the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks. As Paul Ash explains, "We recognized years ago that people weren't coming to Food Bank pantries for emergency groceries on a short-term basis. It was clear that we had become a primary source of food for low-income people. That's why we made nutrition a priority and focused our efforts on providing fresh produce, grains and beans, and quality proteins. That's also why we provide nutrition education programs that help people learn how to choose and prepare healthy foods."
 
Of the 45 million pounds of food we'll distribute this year, nearly 60% of it is fresh fruits and vegetables that comes farm-fresh from large growers in the Central Valley.
 

How you can help

You can join the Food Bank in working to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Consider organizing a food drive, volunteering at our warehouse, or making a donation online.
 

Learn more about the film

View the A Place at the Table trailer online: www.magpictures.com/aplaceatthetable
 
 

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