LOS ANGELES (Feb. 26, 2013) — Participant Media-Magnolia Pictures’ documentary, A Place at the Table, has ignited a coalition of leading non-profits including Bread for the World, Feeding America, Food Research and Action Center and Share our Strength to provide offline and online ways to end food insecurity in America.
Congressman Jim McGovern, who appears in A Place at the Table, says, “Hunger is a political condition – we have the resources to end it, but we lack the political will. A sustained, coordinated grassroots effort is essential to combating hunger and to making the United States a more secure, more humane and more prosperous nation. The social action campaign around A Place at the Table is a welcome addition to the cause.”
The centerpiece of its campaign, called ‘Take Your Place’, launching March 1 to coincide with the film’s release, is a first-of-its-kind national action center, powered by Share Our Strength and managed by expert partners to provide actions people can take on a national and local level. Through this geo-targeted hub, the public will be able to call (855-48TABLE), click (takepart.com/table), or text (FOOD to 77177) to access ways to drive systemic change around food insecurity, along with choices to impact the interconnected issues of hunger, poverty and obesity in the city, county or state where they live.
Local opportunities will range from spreading the word about a school breakfast program to volunteering or donating to a local food bank. Any non-profit organization working in the space can contribute to and use the action center.
Chad Boettcher, Participant’s Executive Vice President of Social Action & Advocacy, said, “We conducted a national study and found that 72 percent of adults in the United States said they would most likely use ‘a website as a one stop shop’ for actions to end hunger. Working with the country’s four largest anti-hunger organizations, along with dozens of regional organizations, all these opportunities for engagement will now be available in one central location.”
“More than 16 million children in America struggle with hunger, but we know that hunger is a solvable problem,” said Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. “We all have a strength to share that can help make that a reality. By partnering with Participant Media to develop the online action center for the ‘Take Your Place’ social action campaign, we’re giving concerned citizens ways to help end hunger in their own communities and nationwide.”
Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and World Food Prize laureate adds, “We believe A Place at the Table will ignite a much-needed public discussion on the causes of hunger and how we can end it that we adopted it as our theme for our annual Bread for the World’s 2013 Offering of Letters. Our campaign petitions the president to set a goal and work with Congress to enact a plan to end hunger. All of us have a responsibility to ensure a place at the table for everyone—not just those blessed with wealth, power, and influence.”
From Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures, the companies who brought you Food, Inc., comes another astonishing documentary that exposes a serious problem that affects 1 out of 6 Americans – these could be your neighbors, your friends, your coworkers, and you would never know, because people are too ashamed to talk about it. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts including sociologist Janet Poppendieck, author Raj Patel and nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle; ordinary citizens like Pastor Bob Wilson and teachers Leslie Nichols and Odessa Cherry; and activists such as Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Oscar®-winning actor Jeff Bridges.
Participant Media (www.participantmedia.com) is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lincoln, Promised Land and No.
National Organization links include BREAD FOR THE WORLD – (http://www.bread.org/ol); FEEDING AMERICA (http://feedingamerica.org); FOOD RESEARCH AND ACTION CENTER (http://frac.org); and SHARE OUR STRENGTH (http://www.nokidhungry.org).