- What are two examples of food insecurity identified in this movie? What were some of the ways in which the individuals involved coped with their predicament? Were they successful? Why or why not?
At the beginning of the video, we are introduced to Rosie who is a child from a family that is struggling to bring back sufficient food to the table. Her mom works a job that pays approximately $120 every two weeks and she has been denied when she asked the government for food stamps. Due to the fact that they do not have enough money for food they must stretch their food leaving them frustrated and very hungry. Rosie struggles in school because of this, she cannot focus on her work and she gets very grumpy. They seem like a normal average family but it shows how the image of hunger is different than what we imagine. The family receives food from the church and also attends Wednesday night meals from the church. Despite the fact that they receive food from food banks and the generous offers of the community, they still are left with hunger. The reality is, even with the donations, the food does not go a long way and the food is very unhealthy which can raise the risk of health issues.
Another family we are introduced to is the family of Barbie and her two kids. She talks about how when she did have a job, she was not qualified for food stamps because her pay was $2 above therefore leaving her with very little money to provide for her kids. She wanted her kids to grow up being fed healthy things and she feels guilty feeding them unhealthy processed food but because of the prices of fresh food and how high it is, she has no other choice. After losing her job she began living on food stamps which did not help at all either and after trying her best, she finally got a full-time job. Unfortunately, the problem was not lessened. She is still struggling to provide for her kids and now does not qualify for food stamps. It seems as though the hunger is never ending in her family.
2. What specific demographics in our country might be more at risk of experiencing food insecurity? Why are they more at risk? Is there anything historical that might have caused this increased risk?
I feel as though the children and low-income families in our country are more at risk of experiencing food insecurity. In the video, it mentions how it is predicted that 1 out of 2 kids will at some point in their life be on food assistance. The potentials of people are affected when they are hungry, they can’t focus well, they can’t think straight and they have anger outbursts or grouchiness. Low-income families who do not get paid much have to stretch their food, they have to make every single bite count. There are parents sacrificing their own food for their child to feel full. The prices of fresh produce are only going up which is making it hard for parents to provide fruits and vegetables at the table.
3. What is your personal reaction to this movie? Did you have any preexisting ideas about food insecurity? Were you surprised by some of the information that was presented? Why or why not?
Before watching this movie, I knew of the reality of poverty and hunger. I knew of how big of an issue because of the earthquakes that happened in Iran a year ago. After the earthquakes, there were thousands of people who had lost their house, their lives or their access to food. Children were left starving in the street, families ripped apart. The connection between poverty and hunger did not surprise me but the government stating they give enough money into the food stamps and the school nutrition program did shock me. The fact that the government knows most of their population is starving and they could fix it but they don’t is very disappointing. The insufficient amount of food stamps that are given to families was also a shock to me because I did not know if you were only two dollars above what is required to get food stamps you would not receive any. There should be more of a flexibility when it comes to food stamps.
4. If you were in a position to directly or indirectly influence the issue at hand (such as a politician or policy maker) what would you do to help? What policies do you think could aid those that are hungry? OR What is a way that you could make a difference today? How would you go about making that difference and change?
If I was in the position of a policy maker I would focus on fixing the issue with food stamps. I would make sure the families who are in need of food stamps get it no matter if they are above the limit of money that should be made to receive the stamps. I would focus on researching more so the number of food stamps given to the families would be enough to cause them not to be starving. Of course, I would not be able to fix the starvation of all households but I could make a huge difference. I would also focus on the school nutrition programs and provide more money for food per child so they get a better, more nutritious meal.