What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the documentary A Place at the Table addresses difficult and mature issues revolving around hunger in the United States. By visiting different "food desert" communities -- the urban streets of Philadelphia, a rural town in Colorado, a backroads hamlet in Mississippi -- and interviewing not just experts but also the families who live on extremely limited incomes or access to food, the filmmakers capture the pervasive problem of food insecurity. There's no violence, swearing, drinking, or sex, but very young children won't understand the discussion -- and kids who are sensitive to others' misfortune may find the subject matter worrying/upsetting. The movie argues that hunger should be a nonpartisan priority, simultaneously positing that certain pro-"agribusiness" politicians oppose more social spending to combat hunger.
  • Families can talk about the issue of hunger and what people can do to help. Can you join a local food bank through your community or house of worship? Can you write a letter as a family to your elected officials? What can your family do?
  • The experts interviewed in A Place at the Table explain how processed food is a big cause of obesity and poor nutrition, how poverty -- and not a shortage of food -- is the cause of hunger. Can your family's shopping decisions help put better food on not just your table, but everyone's?
  • Challenge your family to go on the SNAP diet, even for one day, to see what it's like to live on supplemental assistance. How does it affect your nutritional choices? Is it harder than you imagined?
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