A few weeks ago, an important new film about food and hunger in America, A Place at the Table, screened at the Belcourt. The movie has inspired outrage and action in many who’ve seen it, including Nicole Gulotta, a food blogger whose organization The Giving Table advocates for healthy eating, progressive food policy, sustainable agriculture, and more. Gulotta has invited other food bloggers across the country—161 of ‘em at last count—to dedicate today’s post to addressing the issue of hunger in America, and to promoting this important film and its cause. When I heard about her “Food Bloggers Against Hunger” social media event, I immediately threw my hat in the ring.
If you haven’t seen or even heard of A Place at the Table, you’re in luck: The film will be screened again in Nashville on April 29 at the Downtown Presbyterian Church, followed by a food advocacy fair. This event is the effort of several Nashville-area food bloggers who will also be posting about A Place at the Table today. Can’t make it to the event? You can watch the film online via Amazon, OnDemand, Google Play, or iTunes.
Here, you can send a letter to Congress urging them to protect federal nutrition programs that feed kids at risk of hunger. (It takes a mere minute or two.)
Food insecurity is a huge problem in our country, where 50 million individuals are hungry (1 in 4 are children), and a staggering one in six Americans do not always have enough to eat. And in Tennessee, today’s focus on hunger and food insecurity couldn’t come at a better time, as State Senator Stacey Campfield has introduced legislation that would strip welfare benefits from families whose kids are not making sufficient academic progress, thus potentially (read: almost certainly) putting them at risk of hunger – if they aren’t already walking that line.
We were asked to post a budget-friendly recipe, and I couldn’t help but think of my good old black beans and rice, one of the ultimate budget meals, if not exactly an example of farm-fresh food. Still, the black beans offer solid protein, and one could easily get a small bunch of spinach, chop it finely, and mix it in with the beans to boost the green nutritional value of the meal--or serve the black beans over the spinach if you prefer. A black-bean quesadilla would be another simple, low-cost way to get nutrients and protein at very little cost--and this recipe claims they freeze well, which is always a bonus for busy, cash-and-time-strapped families.
I’m looking forward to seeing the film myself and maybe following up on this very brief post a bit then. For now, I urge you all to watch it too, send the letter to Congress, like A Place at the Table on Facebook, and donate to food pantries whenever you can. (For example, the East Nashville Cooperative Ministry is always taking donations.)
Susannah is a fiction writer, freelance writer and editor, and teacher living in Nashville with her husband and daughter. She likes to cook, loves to be cooked for, and she's always eager to try out the newest local eatery or edible creation. Bonus points if cheese or chocolate are involved. Or beer. Send her delicious tips at nashville.freshfully [at] gmail.com.
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