The United Way of Hancock County’s Halt Hunger Initiative, in association withParticipant Media and Active Voice, will host a community screening of A Place at the Table on Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, 950 N. Main St.. The event is free and open to the public.
The critically acclaimed documentary, directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, examines the crisis of food security, hunger, obesity and food access. The documentary screening will be followed by a panel discussion about hunger in Hancock County. The panel will include: Gary Bright, CEO of West Ohio Food Bank; Marti Price, executive director of CHOPIN Hall; Tammy Stahl, marketing coordinator for Hancock County Christian Clearinghouse; Carol Steegman, Feed-A-Child coordinator and Bridges out of Poverty trainer; and John Urbanski, president and CEO, United Way of Hancock County. The panel discussion will be moderated by Pastor Jennifer Burns, lead pastor at Howard United Methodist Church. Burns is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. She has long been a leader in the United Methodist Church system in West Ohio.
“This film highlights the shame of food injustice in our nation. This is our call to action to make sure no one goes hungry in our community,” said John Urbanski, United Way of Hancock County CEO. In A Place at the Table, a Magnolia Pictures release, Jacobson and Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the eyes of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides — as they have in the past — that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all. The documentary is hosted by Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges. In addition to personal accounts, educators, activists, and a policy leader offer solutions to the hunger crisis in the U.S., which affects 49 million people.
“We’re excited to be working with enthusiastic and thoughtful partners around the country, who are planning a range of events with this film,” said Shaady Salehi, Executive Director of Active Voice, the organization that is managing the community campaign in association with Participant Media. “We need to work collaboratively to make sure that everyone has access to healthy affordable food.”
The mission of the Halt Hunger Initiative is to mobilize the community to research, identify, implement, and promote long-term sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger in Hancock County. United Way of Hancock County started the Halt Hunger Initiative in October of 2011. To date, the initiative has granted a total of $144,625 to local food-related organizations in Hancock County. In 2011, United Way of Hancock County committed to providing $1 million over five years to eradicate hunger in Hancock County. Additional fundraising and grant seeking efforts are continually being made to support the initiative.