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Hunger And Democracy Part II
Thursday, May 3, 2018, 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Sister Carmen Community Center
655 Aspen Ridge Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
Our session on May 3rd, 2018, is the second of two Community Conversations our social policy team has organized in Lafayette on the topic Hunger and Democracy. Speakers from local and statewide nonprofits will provide their perspectives on issues raised in the film A Place at the Table and respond to audience comments and questions. This meeting and our April 26th showing of the film repeat our two November 2017 events in Boulder and our two February–March events in Longmont.
If you missed the film, you can check out the public library’s DVD or watch the film online via the library website. Click here for a summary of A Place at the Table. We also invite you to read about the reality behind eight common misconceptions about hunger.
The film A Place at the Table explores the causes of the U.S.’s widespread and increasing hunger and food insecurity—lack of consistent access to nutritious food. Poverty plays a large role, of course. Hunger is about jobs and inadequate wages; food insecurity is common among the working poor. It results also from a federal government that subsidizes the production of processed food so that it is cheap and readily available. Big profits from corn, wheat, and soybeans allow megafarm corporations to invest in infrastructure to make processed food. Agribusiness spends millions lobbying Congress to continue the subsidies. (Money in Politics again.) Growers of healthy food like fruits and vegetables, usually smaller-scale farmers, are not subsidized.
The film recounts how the 1968 CBS-TV documentary Hunger in America caused Americans to insist on an improved federal safety net. Expansion of the food stamp program, the addition of a school breakfast program to the lunch program (begun in 1946), and other measures in the 1970s eliminated hunger almost entirely. In the 1980s, Congress began underfunding food assistance and other social programs, owing to the Reagan tax cuts, increased defense spending, and a new American attitude that the government is doing too much while the private sector does a wonderful job. Thus began the proliferation of “emergency” responses such as soup kitchens and food banks, and hunger went from emergency to chronic. Today perhaps 50 million Americans rely on a secondary food system called charity.