“A Place at the Table” explores hunger and poverty in America

— According to a report released in 2012 by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), 16.2 percent of Americans reported not having enough money to purchase food for themselves and/or their families at some point throughout the year. In the United States, nearly 50 million Americans or one-in-four children don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

To shed light on this issue, the documentary “A Place at the Table,” directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush shares the stories of three Americans who struggle with not having enough to eat. The film was first released nationally on March 1, 2013.

Maryland Hunger Solutions, an organization that advocates for policies, programs and resources that fight hunger and improve the well being of Marylanders hosted a screening of the documentary and a panel discussion at the Charles Theatre in Baltimore in September.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Michael Reisch, Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and the panelists included: Jeff Singer, University of Maryland School of Social Work; Ellen Teller, director of Government Affairs, Food Research and Action Center; as well as Tony Simmons and Bonnie Lane representing the Baltimore Area Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau.

The discussion offered suggestions for community members to help reduce poverty and homelessness in Baltimore such as donating to food banks or volunteering at a local hunger or poverty related group.

For more information about how to get involved in the effort to end hunger in our community, as well as the organizations at the forefront of this issue in Maryland, the public is invited to attend the “Fighting Hunger in Maryland Conference” on October 10, 2013 at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Conference registration is available online at: www.mdhungersolutions.org.