Hungry in America: new documentary shows 'food insecurity'

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 3:25 p.m. MST

Some other provocative statistics the movie cites: 85 percent of U.S. households that are "food insecure" have at least one working adult; the average food stamp benefit is less than $5 per day; the state where food insecurity is the most rampant — Mississippi — is also the place with the highest incidence of childhood obesity.

Positive press

Following is a sampling of what critics are saying about the film.

Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern: “Now that our sources of information have become so diverse, we are harder to startle, and inured to bad news. I sat down to watch this film out of obligation, not because I expected new insights about a problem that has come to be seen as an intractable constant in American life. I was wrong, though. In addition to the dismaying facts and figures is a fuller sense of what hunger can look like, and feel like, among the millions of Americans classified as ‘food-insecure.’”

San Francisco Chronicle’s Walter Addiego: “‘A Place at the Table’ presents a shameful truth that should leave viewers dismayed and angry: This nation has more than enough food for all its people, yet millions of them are hungry. The film bolsters its case with plenty of facts, charts and expert testimony — evidence typical of this sort of advocacy documentary. But what makes the movie compelling is its focus on a handful of victims, who make the statistics painfully real.”

Time magazine’s Mary Pols: “The best illustration of Jacobson and Silverbush’s case — that something has to be done to both raise the level of awareness of the problem and reverse a trend that has grown at a horrifying rate since the Reagan administration — are the ordinary people they profile who are suffering through the misery of regular hunger.”

"A Place at the Table" is rated PG for thematic elements and brief mild language.

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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