Hunger in America

Documentary: A Place at the Table (2012). As noted on the film’s website, 50 Million Americans – 1 in 4 children – don’t know where their next meal is coming from. This documentary tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place at the Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides – as they have in the past – that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.

A Place at the Table

One of the things I found most interesting – one of the observations that is made in the documentary – is that 25-30 years ago processed foods were expensive and fresh Snack Foodsfruits/vegetables were cheaper. Flash forward to the present and an environment where the government subsidizes foods (e.g. corn, wheat) that end up as processed foods/snacks, yet do not subsidize fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Therefore, what you get is a situation that is now completely reversed, processed foods are super cheap and good fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive. And of course, when push comes to shove and you have a limited food budget, what are you going to buy?

Something else to think about, contrary to what many of us have come to believe, there is not a huge gap between hunger and obesity.  In fact, they are closely related.  They go together in poverty.

Such a vicious cycle. A family has less money, they buy nutrient poor foods, they have more health problems, they incur debt trying to manage their health, they are less able to save/invest in their future….

Available for streaming at Netflix.

Fruits and VegetablesAlso worthy of a viewing is when Bill Moyers sits down with one of the film’s producers and directors, Kristi Jacobson; and Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, as they explain how hunger hits hard at people from every walk of life.

Available for streaming at BillMoyers.com.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.

2 Comments

  1. For me it’s straightforward to think of the overweight and drug abusers as the very same people fighting poverty. When of wealth you have the advantage of choice for the best foods and the best living conditions. The poor people consume whatever they can get, and a lot of it, and I have both witnessed and experienced this.

    It’s also true, and ridiculous, that vegetables are so expensive here in the UK and worldwide. It may cost “only £1” for some carrots, but that bag of carrots shouldn’t cost more than 10 pence. Whereas you can acquire horrid little burgers for £1 at most fast food restaurants, which makes them far too easily attainable for teenagers and tired parents feeding their children.

    • All well stated. In a number of different posts on this blog we have touched on the idea that the concepts of fiscal & physical fitness are closely related. As you note, those that suffer from poor physical health often also suffer from poor fiscal health. When you have resources – namely money – you have access to better foods, better health care, gym memberships, less stress, etc. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation, Alex.

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