Fifty million people in the US—including one in four children—don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. In the film, directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people 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 Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
In A Place at the Table, we are introduced to three Americans: Barbie, a Philadelphia single mom struggling to make ends meet for her two children. She swore that she would never feed her own kids canned spaghetti three times a day like she had growing up, but sometimes it is the best she can do. Colorado fifth grader Rosie, who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her, and has trouble concentrating in school because she’s hungry. Tremonica, a Mississippi second grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories in the foods her hard-working mother can afford. Through each of these stories, filmmakers Jacobson and Silverbush examine the key factors contributing to the hunger crisis in America, illustrating how our nation’s food distribution system, social support programs and even well-meaning charitable organizations, allow the cycle to continue. Barbie’s story shows the inadequacy of our current governmental assistance plans such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and school meal programs. A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation. Ultimately, the film asks us to examine our priorities as a society.