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Marisa Miller Wolfson
Marisa Miller Wolfson,
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Every American Should See This Important and Powerful Film
It's a national disgrace than nearly 50 million of our American neighbors live in homes that can't afford enough food. This compelling film explains why we have this problem, and, most importantly, what we can do to end it. Granted, I am biased because I fight hunger for a living, but I do think everyone in America should see this film.
The film powerfully documents the real lives of real people struggling against hunger. Each of them defy common stereotypes of hungry people.
Many Americans believe that we can end U.S. hunger one person at a time, one donated can of food at a time. They are well-meaning. But they are wrong, as this powerful film proves. When Ronald Reagan entered office in 1981, there were only a few hundred emergency feeding programs in America, most of which were traditional soup kitchens serving mostly the people who had been historically the most hungrysingle men with substance abuse or mental illness problems. Yet, as a direct result of the economic policies and social service cuts set in motion by Reagan, the number of emergency feeding programs in America skyrocketed, and continued to do so even after he left office. There are now more than 40,000 such programs in America, and roughly two-thirds of them are food pantries, where parents and their children, the elderly, and working people obtain free groceries. Meanwhile, hunger has soared. The truth is that these agencies simply don't have anything close to the resources needed to meet the demand. The organization I manage, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, found that, in 2011, close to sixty percent of the approximately 1,100 soup kitchens and food pantries in the city were forced to ration food because they lacked resources, either reducing portion size, limiting hours of operation, or turning away hungry families. These agencies are so under-funded that nearly 50 of them were forced to close in New York City in just the last few years.
This vital film proves that the only way to truly end U.S. hunger is by advocating for fundamental change that include living wage jobs and a robust government safety net.
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