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Film to focus on national, world hunger issues before Empty Bowls event

By Nathan Vine on October 15, 2013
© stevens point journal.com

STEVENS POINT — While Empty Bowls has focused the community’s attention on local hunger prevention efforts, an addition to this weekend’s event will look at the issue from a national and global level.

Bread for the World, a national hunger advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., will show the documentary, “A Place at the Table,” on Friday at the Dreyfus University Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The documentary focuses on hunger and obesity issues in the U.S., and hunger issues throughout the world.

Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute, will be on hand to answer questions at the end of the film.

On Saturday, the 12th annual Empty Bowls will be held at Stevens Point Area Senior High. For $11, people get a bowl of soup, bread, a beverage and dessert. Organizers expect more than 1,000 people to attend the event, which has raised more than $170,000 for local mobile food pantries, community gardens and hunger educationand awareness programs since its inception.

“The film is a wonderful event to have on the same weekend as Empty Bowls. It’s a great opportunity for people to learn more about the issue of hunger,” said Gregg Hansel, a member of the Empty Bowls steering committee.

Fred Groos of Stevens Point has been a board member for Bread for the World for the past two years, and been involved with the organization for the past 30 years. He said the members of the nonprofit organization helporganize people to contact or meet with member of Congress and advocate for policy changes to help those who are hungry.

Groos said about 14.5 percent of households in the U.S. struggle to put food on the table, and that charity groups only serve about 1/24 of the needs of those people. Groos said he hopes Friday’s event will help focus attention on hunger issues and ways that people here in central Wisconsin can become involved.

“We cannot rely on charity alone to feed hungry people,” Groos said. “Eradicating extreme hunger in the world is achievable in our lifetime, but it will take real political will by local citizens and the federal government to make this a priority.”

Nathan Vine can be reached at 715-345-2252. Find him on Twitter as @SPJNathanVine.

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