Sounds like a joke, but Hunger Games composer T Bone Burnett, took a break to record his own original music for the documentary, A Place at the Table, a film illuminating the problem of hunger in America. This subject is no joke. Directed by Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson, this film follows a few emblematic young citizens, a Colorado fifth grader named Rosie, a Mississippi second grader with severe health problems named Tremonica, a Philadelphia mom named Barbie, determined, hard-working good people, who happen to live outside the food eh, network. Food insecure, they don't know where their next meal is coming from. Literally. Barbie has to travel by bus to find a market that sells fruits and vegetables. Local stores are stocked with processed items providing minimally nutritious calories for her children. And she is lucky she can feed them. Rosie in a ramshackle rural community in a gorgeous mountainous landscape, relies on donations. On a panel this week at The Crosby Hotel, spokesmen Jeff Bridges and Silverbush's husband Tom Colicchio, star of television's Top Chef made a key point: Here is one problem that is fixable.
Mired in the politics of farm subsidies, food stamps, and sidelined by well-meaning charities and food pantries, a focus on the scandal of millions of working Americans who have little access to healthy food is hurt by the shame attached to hunger, and its flip side, poverty. The filmmakers are hoping for the kind of change that comes about when something invisible is seen, when outraged citizens rise up and insist that government makes this human issue a priority.
First lady Michelle Obama has a cameo, hosting an event at the controversial White House vegetable garden. Vocal about obesity, hoping that her emphasis on making wise food choices will have wide influence, even she does not say enough about hunger in America.
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