A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table was a thought-provoking documentary. Susan and I went to see it today at the lovely Rose Theatre in Port Townsend.

I have become very aware of the cost of food in the last year, with my "situation," but I realized, after watching this movie, I don't have it bad at all. Really.

Watching the people featured in the film battle just for a meal - of any sort - was heartbreaking. And perhaps even more disturbing was the kind of foods they are forced to eat out of pure necessity. I cannot imagine what it would be like to go into a grocery store and find no fruit or vegetables! No wonder there is an obesity epidemic in this country. The only type of food that is even half-way affordable is a full range of carbs!

And despite the good intentions of the "faith-based" NGOs that are trying to help, the foods they are able to provide are completely processed, filled with preservatives and artificial coloring. As the young woman teacher who distributed food bags said, "At least it is food," although she cringed as she said it.

And then this is the dilemma faced by people at or near the poverty line, as was illustrated by a young, unmarried woman with two children. Unemployed and on public assistance aka food stamps and welfare, her two young children were provided with breakfast and lunch at the daycare. She was so excited when she finally got a job at $9 an hour. But then, food stamps stopped and the children didn't qualify for free meals. She was over the qualifying limit! What can she do? Give up her hopes and dreams of a better life? Or let her children go hungry? This is why people can't get off welfare! Yes, she was gainfully employed, something she really wanted, but now was unable to feed her children. $9 hour is not a living wage. So she is stuck in a system that is broken with  no signs of being fixed.

It all boils down to big agribusiness who get fortunes in subsidies, lobbyists and greedy politicians. Why oh why can these people not see they are killing this country?

I suppose greed kills.