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"All I Think About is Food"
A Place at the Table, the new documentary that examines the issue of hunger in America, follows three subjects who often struggle to find enough to eat. One of those people is Rosie Casey, a bright, energetic elementary school student in Colorado. Like a lot of kids her age, Rosie sometimes loses focus during class. In the film, Rosie's teacher, Leslie Nichols, gives Rosie an exercise to help her concentrate. Leslie tells Rosie to write the word “focus” on a little sticker and look at it every time she feels her mind start to drift. Still, Rosie struggles to pay attention.
“I just really felt she wasn’t really applying herself in the classroom and I couldn’t figure out where that attitude was coming from,” Leslie says in the movie. The teacher later learns that when Rosie stares off into space for long periods, it's not because she is thinking about cartoons, or her friends, or activities. She is thinking about food.
“I struggle a lot and most of the time it’s because my stomach is really hurting,” Rosie says. “I start yawning and then I zone out and I’m just looking at the teacher and I look at her and all I think about is food. Sometimes when I look at her I vision her as a banana so she goes like a banana and everybody in the class is like apples or oranges and then I’m like, oh great.”
In A Place at the Table, we see that Rosie has a network of caring people in her community that provide her and her family with food: her pastor, Bob Wilson, runs a food pantry at the family’s church, and her teacher delivers food to Rosie’s home each week in an effort to help her stave off the hunger that could prevent her from reaching her full learning potential. Still, it’s not enough. The work of churches and food banks and good Samaritans is vital, but it isn’t enough to combat hunger, not at a time when the need for food is so great.
This year, Bread for the World's Offering of Letters campaign, also called "A Place at the Table," aims to prevent deep cuts in funding for federal programs that save lives and help people around the world overcome poverty.
During ongoing federal budget and spending debates, poor and hungry people are vulnerable. This month the across-board-cuts known as the sequester begin to take effect. Sequestration puts 600,000 women and children at risk of losing their WIC benefits and could subject foreign food aid, which assists millions of people across the globe, to deep cuts.
We must urge our nation's leaders to continue investing in nutrition and development programs. Please join us in our 2013 Offering of Letters campaign. See A Place at the Table with your friends and family. Sign our petition asking President Obama to work with Congress on a goal to end hunger. Contact your members of Congress and demand adequate funding for programs that address hunger and poverty. These actions will advance us toward the bold, but achievable, goal of a united plan to end hunger.
Visit our Offering of Letters website for more information on this year's campaign.
Click here for information on A Place at the Table, including theaters showing the film.
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