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Food Stamped (2010)

Food Stamped is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Nutrition educator Shira Potash ... See full summary »

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(co-director), (co-director)
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Food Stamped is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Nutrition educator Shira Potash teaches nutrition-based cooking classes to elementary school students in low-income neighborhoods, most of whom are eligible for food stamps. In an attempt to walk a mile in their shoes, Shira and her documentary filmmaker husband embark on the food stamp challenge where they eat on roughly one dollar per meal. Along the way, they consult with food justice activists, nutrition experts, politicians, and ordinary people living on food stamps, all in order to take a deep look at the struggles low-income Americans face every day while trying to put three-square meals on the table. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | News

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TV-G
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9 October 2010 (USA)  »

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Interesting and Informative Documentary
3 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

I found this to be an interesting and informative documentary. The doc features Shira and Yoav Potash, who also produced and directed it.

In the film, the young California couple sets out to live on an average food stamp budget, for a week, which amounts to a little over one dollar per meal per person. Additionally, they are going to try and eat as healthily as possible under the monetary restrictions.

The movie does a lot more than just follow Shira and Yoav, as they plan, shop, and cook their meals under the budgeted allotment.

First it gives the viewer a brief history of food stamps in the United States. The Food Stamp Act, enacted in 1964, made the allotment of food stamps a permanent Federal program

You sit in as several applicants apply for food stamps at the local government office. You see the varied personalities and circumstances of those that are in need. This personalized view is much more powerful than the usual pontifications of some politicians who are always looking to downsize the program no matter what the need.

Shira tags along with a "veteran" food stamp recipient as he travels to a supermarket where he knows he can get the best deals. He knows, after his food stamp money is in his account, how to shop to make his food last for the entire month, cutting corners where he must.

One of the criticisms of food stamp recipients has been that they are not buying healthy foods but instead fattening or low nutritious items. The documentary tries to explain why really healthy foods are generally more expensive and why they may not be in the budgets of food stamp recipients.

However, the film tries to show how this is changing. Farmer's markets, in increasing numbers, are accepting EBT cards(food stamps)which gives recipients more healthy choices in their shopping. Food banks as well are trying to keep standards as high as possible for healthy choices. The movie also goes inside the lunch room of a school to illustrate how better food choices are being added to their menus.

The Potash's found out how difficult it is to eat on a food stamp budget. They also interviewed several members of Congress who also tried to eat on an allotment and saw clearly the struggle involved.

All in all, I felt the pace of the documentary was well maintained and it kept my interest throughout. It was also laced with humor, although the Potash's noted more than once they were aware of the pain that many on the program are going through. Finally, I learned quite a bit about food stamps and how they correlate with various organizations in our society.

The documentary is only one hour and two minutes long.


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