Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children. And yet Congress can’t pass a Farm Bill because our representatives continue to fight over how many billions to slash from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The debate is filled with tired clichés about freeloaders undeserving of government help, living large at the expense of honest, hardworking taxpayers. But a new documentary, A Place at the Table, paints a truer picture of America’s poor.
On the next Moyers & Company, Kristi Jacobson, one of the film’s directors and producers, and Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, join Bill to break these stereotypes apart and share how hunger hits hard at people from every walk of life. The story of American families facing food insecurity is as frustrating as it is heartbreaking, because the problem is as avoidable as it is tragic.
Also, on the program, journalist Greg Kaufmann — who’s dedicated himself to the beat of poverty, food and politics — talks about the need to meet and accurately understand Americans in poverty to truly help them. A frequent contributor for The Nation, Kaufmann claims that the poor have been stereotyped and demonized in an effort to justify huge cuts in food stamps and other programs low-income Americans rely on to survive.