Real-life Hunger Games – minus the games

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Hunger Hits HomeWhile The Hunger Games, a movie about a future society where children who live in severe poverty are forced to battle to the death in order to win food for their family and community, is celebrated for continuing to rake in millions at the theater box office, to the tune of $322 million to date, real kids in America are going hungry every day in real life.

Did you know these facts about childhood hunger in America?

  • More than 16 million kids in America live in households that struggle to put food on the table. That’s 1 out of 5 kids.
  • There were over 16.4 million children in America living in poverty in 2010. That’s almost 1 million more than in 2009.
  • 9.8 million kids get free or reduced-price school breakfast on an average school day, more than ever before…but 10.5 million eligible kids go without.
  • Only 1 in 7 kids who get free and reduced-priced school lunches receive summer meals.
  • Almost 45 million Americans used SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) during 2011. Nearly 75 percent of these are in families with children and more than a quarter are in households with seniors or people with disabilities.

In an effort to support and fight against childhood hunger, the Food Network in a partnership with Share Our Strength will air a special 1-hour documentary titled ‘Hunger Hits Home’ on this Saturday, April 14th at 8pm/7c. The documentary offers a first-hand look at the crisis of childhood hunger in America through the eyes of the parents, children, activists, educators and politicians on the frontlines of the battle. The program focuses on families who struggle with hunger and the community leaders who are taking direct action to fight it.

The $6.00 spent on a bag of popcorn at the movie theater while you are watching The Hunger Games could provide 30 meals for local kids that are hungry. If you watch the documentary ‘Hunger Hits Home’ on the Food Network tonight and are motivated to get involved locally, here are some resources to check into:

United Food Bank
http://unitedfoodbank.org/

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
http://www.firstfoodbank.org/

Desert Mission Food Bank
http://www.jcl.com/desert-mission/food-bank

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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