Hunger in the wealthiest nation on Earth? In the USA and globally, child hunger (and low-income senior citizen hunger) is a huge and growing issue when it comes to health trends. Millions of Americans experience hunger from kids to seniors living on three-figure monthly social security retirement checks with no other income. At last an organic food producer and book publisher have teamed up to make a food donation to hungry kids.
And there's a film ready to be released in a few weeks, "A Place at the Table." The backers of a documentary on hunger in the United States are teaming up with an organic food producer and a book publisher to make a food donation to needy children, according to a February 20, 2013 Associated Press article published in the Sacramento Bee, "Film on hunger comes with food donation to US kids ."
Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media are releasing the documentary film, "A Place at the Table" on March 1, 2013 in theaters and on iTunes and On Demand. The companies, along with Plum Organics and the Perseus Books Group, announced on February 20, 2013 that a packaged "Super Smoothie" will be donated to an infant or toddler for every ticket sold to the film, every online download of it, or each purchase of a copy of the film's companion book. The Plum Organics smoothie is made of fruit, vegetables and grains. Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush directed the film which features actor Jeff Bridges.
The film is a documentary that investigates incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans, and proposed solutions to the problem. Directors are Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush. The stars of this documentary are Jeff Bridges, Tom Colicchio, Ken Cook | See full cast and crew.
The documentary film, "A Place At The Table" examines the shocking paradox of hunger in the wealthiest nation on earth, through the stories of three Americans who face food insecurity daily. The feature-length film features interviews with Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges, author Raj Patel, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and original music by Grammy award winning indie-folk duo The Civil Wars and Grammy – and Oscar – winning producer/composer T Bone Burnett.
Check out the site, A Place at the Table Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Documentary Movie. It's also going to be available on DVD but as of today, it's not yet available. You can sign up at Amazon.com to be notified when this item becomes available. Just be sure you chose the correct DVD as there are numerous other DVDs or books with similar titles.
See the Amazon.com site, A Place At The Table DVD. See, A Place at the Table Starring Jeff Bridges and Tom Colicchio. Don't confuse this new DVD with an older one with a similar title, Place at the Table DVD, A: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay (Jan 15, 2012) or a book with a similar name is not related to the newest film. The book, A Place at the Table: Struggles for Equality in America by Maria Fleming (Feb 7, 2002) is not related to the documentary on hunger.
Teachers who pay out of their own pockets to feed hungry kids breakfast
Some teachers are paying out of their own pockets to feed breakfast to children in their classrooms too hungry to do school work, plagued with headaches, stomach pains, and lack of energy or having low blood sugar tremors and anxiety from lack of healthy nutrition over a long period of time. In some classrooms three out of five children come to school hungry each day.
Hunger in the classrooms also is about families that are still feeling the sting of unemployment, rising food and fuel prices and a sluggish economic recovery. Teachers are first-hand witnesses to the toll hunger takes on our students. According to a new national survey released today, August 23, 2012 by Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, teachers are worried that hunger is stunting the learning process. They also point to a healthy school breakfast as key to a good education.
The survey, “Hunger In Our Schools: Share Our Strength’s Teachers Report 2012,” was conducted among more than 1,000 K-8 public school teachers nationwide. Three out of five teachers surveyed report that they see students regularly come to school hungry because they’re not getting enough to eat at home. A majority of these teachers who witness hunger say the problem is getting worse.
An oversampling of Colorado teachers finds that they report hunger in the classroom is a big problem in the state with three out of five Colorado teachers (59%) saying they have students who regularly come to school hungry.
“I have had students who have come to school with lunch the previous day having been their last meal,” said Julie Fahey, Principal and former teacher, Queen Palmer Elementary in Colorado Springs, CO. “Hungry students simply can’t focus and learn.”
“When students are hungry and distracted, they’re not learning,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “To set kids up for academic success, we must make sure they’re getting the healthy food they need at breakfast and lunch so they can concentrate in the classroom throughout the day.”
Overwhelmingly, teachers say students have trouble learning when they’re focused on their empty stomachs. Hungry students, they say, lack concentration and struggle with poor academic performance, behavior problems and health issues.
“Access to healthy food is the number one school supply students need to succeed in the classroom this fall,” said Tom Nelson, President of Share Our Strength. “Kids can’t concentrate on reading and math when they’re focused on their growling stomachs. If we want our youngest generation to grow up smarter, healthier and stronger, we need to make sure they get the healthy food they need every day.”
School meals play an important role in making sure that, even in tough times, kids still get the healthy food they need. Nine out of 10 teachers agree that school breakfast is especially important for academic achievement. Teachers credit breakfast with increased concentration (95%), better academic performance (89%) and better behavior in the classroom (73%). Health is also a major factor, with four in five saying breakfast prevents head and stomachaches, leading to healthier students. Teachers also say that students who eat breakfast are less likely to be tardy or absent (56%).
“No child’s health should be compromised because they haven’t had enough to eat,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton. “USDA school nutrition programs – such as the school breakfast and school lunch programs – help ensure our children start their day with a nutritious meal, so they can learn, grow, and reach their full potential. This year, I am proud to announce that school meals are even healthier thanks to historic improvements made through the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.”
Yet too many eligible kids are missing out on this critical meal. According to the Colorado Department of Education, of the more than 217,000 low-income students in Colorado who ate free or reduced-price lunch a day in school year 2010-2011, only 87,000 participated in the School Breakfast Program. The Colorado No Kid Hungry campaign, a partnership between Hunger Free Colorado, Share Our Strength, and the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper, helps get nutritious food to kids in need, working with schools and communities to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program by implementing innovative service models that make breakfast a part of the school’s morning routine.
Findings in Colorado show that local teachers are more likely to favor providing school breakfast to all students as part of the solution to solving hunger in the classroom (69% in Colorado vs. 58% nationally). Colorado teachers also have more positive experiences with programs that make breakfast easier for students to receive, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, and are less likely to consider such service models messy or logistically challenging.
"School breakfast programs can be accessible to all students by bringing breakfast into the classroom and making it easy for students to get a morning meal,” said Kathy Underhill, Executive Director for Hunger Free Colorado. “We’re connecting with principals, teachers, local nutrition directors, parents and students to increase participation through the expanded use of innovative serving methods by nearly 5,216 free and reduced-priced students and a minimum of 85 schools in Colorado.”
“Stories from teachers across the country about kids experiencing hunger are real, compelling and are all-too commonplace. The third edition of this report provides important data behind the anecdotes,” said Gina Goff from C&S Wholesale Grocers. “We know that the report is a key part of the No Kid Hungry campaign and that it will jumpstart conversations about solutions to ending childhood hunger.”
Key findings from the research include the following:
· Childhood Hunger Remains A Serious Issue. Three out of five teachers say kids in their classrooms regularly come to school hungry. Among those teachers, 80% say these kids come to school hungry at least once a week. Three out of four teachers (77%) say addressing childhood hunger must be a national priority.
· The Problem Is Growing. A majority of teachers (56%) who witness childhood hunger say the problem is getting worse. Locally, 51% of Colorado teachers surveyed said the problem is getting worse.
· School Meals Are A Critical Safety Net. In the survey, a majority of teachers (56%) say “a lot” or “most” of their students rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition. In Colorado, 53% of teachers say “a lot” or “most” of their students rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition.
· Teachers Are Taking Action. Most commonly, teachers assist families in enrolling in school meal programs (71%), refer families to resources in the school (54%) and spend money out of their own pockets to buy food for hungry students (53%). On average, teachers who buy food for hungry kids in their classrooms spend $26 a month.
· Teachers Say: Breakfast Works. Nine out of 10 teachers say breakfast is very important for academic achievement. Teachers credit breakfast with increased concentration (95%), better academic performance (89%) and better behavior in the classroom (73%). Health is also a major factor, with eight in ten saying breakfast prevents head and stomachaches, leading to healthier students. Teachers also say that, thanks to breakfast, students are less likely to be tardy or absent (56%).
· Too Many Kids Miss Out On Breakfast: Teachers site timing and stigma as two barriers to participation. Some kids miss out on the meals because they get to school too late to eat (74%). Others are embarrassed and don’t want to be singled out as the low-income kids eating in the cafeteria (33%). Teachers say that sometimes the problem is simply that parents aren’t aware the program exists (35%).
· Childhood Hunger Is Solvable: The most popular solution was to increase communication with parents about the school meals that are available (75%). Other ideas include reducing the red tape that limits participation (61%) and decreasing stigma by making free breakfast available to all students, not just those with low incomes (58%). The survey is available at NoKidHungry.org/Teachers.
Obese teenagers who say they're hungry all the time
Why don't dieting and exercise work for many obese teenagers? Is the issue about five small portion-size meals a day helping kids ease cravings for sugar, fats, dairy, meats and chocolate, or about kids sneaking food because they're usually hungry? Could your teenager's obesity be due to sensitivity to wheat and too much bread or bakery products made from wheat or gluten?
And what's making them so hungry--sugar cravings as a rebound effect from eating foods, grains, juices, or sodas high on the Glycemic Index, full of sugar that soon causes more hunger and more sugar cravings? Is it about what causes so much ghrelin to be released causing more hunger cravings all day? See the articles, Action Of Ghrelin Hormone Increases Appetite And Favors, and The Hunger Hormone - CBS News.
What's the growing rush to weight-loss surgery for teenagers all about? Can't small portion size meals work if given enough time? According to a January 7, 2012 NY Times article by Anemona Hartocollis, "Young, Obese and in Surgery," one percent to 2 percent of all weight-loss, or bariatric, operations are on patients under 21, but studies are under way to gauge the outcomes of surgery on children as young as 12. You can follow the money. The industry that produces lap-bands has to make money selling the lap-bands. Are the teenagers being targeted as a new market for weight-loss surgery products?
Check out the site, LAP-BAND® Weight Loss - Covered by most PPO Insurance. And see the article, Bariatric Surgery in Severely Obese Adolescents Debated. For teenagers, usually surgeons perform lap-band weight-loss surgery. Across the entire USA, the news media repeats that there's an obesity epidemic in America has come an explosion in weight-loss surgery, with about 220,000 operations a year — a sevenfold leap in a decade, according to industry figures — costing more than $6 billion a year.
Allergan, the maker of the popular Lap-Band, a surgically inserted silicone band that constricts the stomach to make the patient feel full quickly, is seeking permission from the Food and Drug Administration to market it to patients as young as 14, four years younger than is now allowed. Hospitals across the country have opened bariatric centers for adolescents in recent years.
Many doctors will tell parents that their child's diet usually fails. And kids can work with nutritionists rather than rush into surgery. Most advice not to eat white rice, for example and to eat less grains or at least black rice may not be heeded, if people are familiar with traditional foods that make some teens gain weight, like the high Glycemic Index value of white rice.
Dieting and exercise may not work with some teens. Presently there's a National Institutes of Health study of weight-loss surgery on teenagers. Should health professionals tell teenagers they should undergo surgery to use the Lap-Band? After all, the surgery is reversible and relatively low risk, say some doctors.
To even get a Lap-Band, the person needs a minimum B.M.I. of 40, or 35 for people with at least one other related health problem. Last February (2011), the F.D.A. reduced the minimum B.M.I. for patients with another problem to 30, the threshold of obesity.
So if you're on the threshold of obesity, and many teenagers are, do you really need surgery? What if you just reduce portion size and stick with a vegan diet that's 35 percent fiber and 50 percent raw vegetables, lots of soups, and fish? What if you cut out wheat and most types of bread? What if you exercise with stretches right for you rather than exercise that tires you out too much?
If a woman gets pregnant, the lap band is decompressed, for example. There's other issues such as loose skin after weight loss. Would loose skin lead to more surgery for tummy tucks or even arm tucks? The dilemma is whether teenagers need weight-loss surgery or a better regimen of eating and some exercise.
If diets don't work most of the time, the issue could be portion size or other problems dealing with hormones, glands, and a need for balance in the child's life. What would you do if you were a teenager with an obesity issue? Lap-Band? Or reduce the portion size of food rather than the size of your stomach, even if it's temporary?
And what happens if the band slips off inside you? Think over the issue. There are many parents of teens in Sacramento contemplating weight loss surgery. How far would you go to lose the stomach space instead of the portion size of the food? The idea is balance and dense nutrition rather than lots of starchy fillers or an imbalance. Maybe you need a change of oil? It's one issue in the news that affects many families globally.
Are there too many surgeries for obese teenagers? Should the government permit weight loss surgery for teenagers as young as 14 instead of the age 18 minimum presently? Nationally, some 15 percent of children are overweight or obese, as are some 60 percent of adults.
At U.C. Davis, bariatric surgery is the best current treatment for morbid obesity and encompasses surgical procedures that produce significant and sustained weight loss. See, Surgery Obesity. The UC Davis Bariatric Surgery Program offers a comprehensive solution for surgical weight loss that is focused on long-term success. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) has recognized the excellence of this program with the designation as a Center of Excellence for bariatric surgery.
UC Davis offers a program for the surgical treatment of obesity. The program is staffed by Mohamed Ali, M.D.; Jonathan Pierce, M.D.; Judy Yamasaki, R.N., B.S.N., nurse coordinator; Abigail Weston, R.N., M.S., F.N.P.; Alisa Edwinson, N.P.; Anna Peters, N.P.; Toni Piechota, M.S., M.P.H., R.D.; Jane McClay, Psy.D.; Elizabeth Martinez, new patient referral coordinator; Alexis Trombley, surgical coordinator; and Tiffany Wong, nurse coordinator assistant.
The newest frontier for weight-loss professionals to research is young patients in their teenage years. In the New York Times article, "Young, Obese and in Surgery," one teenager has been followed for a year after the weight loss surgery operation. For most obese teenagers, it's a mission or quest to navigate the issues of losing weight and keeping a balance. It's also about self-image and relationships with family members and friends.
Too many teens are being made fun of, scolded, and told to lose weight by peers and relatives as well as their health care teams. What's the problem with hunger not being taken care of with nourishing, but non-too-fattening soups instead of solid foods for obese teens?
Portion size or lap band?
The long-term effectiveness of weight-loss surgery, particularly stomach banding, is still in question by many physicians. Should teens be rushed and pushed toward surgery? Many doctors are resisting. Is the lap band too drastic?
Is time the problem--teens not having enough time to cook properly or not used to raw food diets, small portion size, or foods that are not always sweet, salty, or oily? An obese teenager's body might still be developing. Perhaps the teenager has not had time to lose weight by nutrition education that involves the entire family members who do the shopping and cooking.
Lower income senior citizen hunger in America
As for senior hunger, some low-income seniors have pets even though they may go hungry themselves. The SPCA helps seniors cling to their pets when volunteers are available as well as financial aid. Some local animal shelters have volunteers who visit a senior's home to give the pet owner a ride to the veterinarian, empty a cat litter box once a week, and even pay bills for the pet's illnesses as well as provide basic care at home.
It's done through the Society for the Prevention to Animal's Senior Care program, which offers help to needy pet owners who are age 65 or older. The program sends volunteers to the homes of seniors with lower incomes who need help tending to the care of their pets and feeding the pets.
Hungry seniors and their pets
The volunteers may walk dogs clean kitty litter boxes, administer medicine to sick pets, and offer seniors a ride to veterinary care as well as give financial help with the veterinary care such as free neuter and spay, vaccination, and other benefits for seniors with pet companions. The local SPCA programs are part of several such programs across the USA that offer such services to seniors to keep the older adult and the pet together for the health of both.
Too many pets are given to shelters because the owner can no longer afford the pet food or to take care of them. For further information, check out the site, Senior Services | The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In some areas, care is provided, but not food. Also see the article, "Sacramento SPCA volunteers help seniors care for beloved pets." In your city, is there a volunteer organization that help seniors take care of their pets? And what organizations in your area deliver free pet food to older adults or the homeless with pets?
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