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November 17 Film Screening and Discussion Addresses Hunger and Obesity in the Region

November 11, 2013
Keene, NH

Why do nearly 50 million Americans go hungry everyday? And why are more than 23.5 million kids and teenagers overweight or obese (and sometimes go hungry, too)? In New Hampshire, 13.7 percent of households are “food insecure,” that is, uncertain of having or unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of the family. In Cheshire County, one in ten people live below the poverty line, while 28 percent of residents are obese. Why is this happening? And what can we do to help?

In an effort to engage Monadnock Region residents in a conversation about hunger and obesity in our nation and locally, Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition, a partner with the Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative, is hosting a screening of the critically acclaimed film, “A Place at the Table,” at the Colonial Theater in Keene on November 17, 2013 starting at 1 p.m. The screening is part of Participant Media’s “Take Your Place” Social Action Campaign, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which uses the documentary to inspire community conversations about hunger and obesity and get people involved in efforts to address this systemic problem. A total of 25 communities across the country, including Keene, are hosting these events with local sponsors including C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Keene Community Kitchen, Cheshire County Healthy Eating Active Living, The Keene Sentinel, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene and the Monadnock Coop.

“This screening is a wonderful opportunity for our community to get together and discuss what is truly behind this food crisis and what can be done about it,” says Roe-Ann Tasoulas, coordinator of the Monadnock Food and Community Coalition (MFCC), a regional coalition of more than 20 organizations whose mission is to help build and support a robust local food system.

The event in Keene is free and open to the public with the donation of fresh produce or canned goods benefitting the Keene Community Kitchen. After viewing the film, a panel of community leaders will be on hand to discuss ways that organizations in the Monadnock Region are working to make healthy food more affordable (such as the Double Up Veggie Bucks at the Farmers’ Market of Keene, and the “Healthy Food for All” program at the Monadnock Food Co-op). Panel hosts include Donna Reynolds, Food Service Director for ConVal School District; Kin Schilling, founder and executive director of the Cornucopia Project in Hancock; Phoebe Bray, executive director, The Keene Community Kitchen; and Olivia Zink, community organizer, New Hampshire Citizen’s Alliance. There will also be time for questions and comments from the audience. Refreshments and further discussion with area community groups will follow.

For more information about the screening, contact Roe-Ann Tasoulas, Coordinator of the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition at coordinator@mfccoalition.org or 352-7593.

Learn more about the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition’s plan at http://www.cheshireconservation.org/MFCC and the  “Take Your Place” campaign at: http://actioncenter.takepart.com/apatt.

ABOUT HEALTHY MONADNOCK 2020
Healthy Monadnock 2020, formerly named Vision 2020, is a community engagement initiative designed to foster and sustain a positive culture of health throughout Cheshire County and the Monadnock region. Founded and developed by the Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene in 2007, Healthy Monadnock 2020’s action plans are being guided in the community by the Healthiest Community Advisory Board, a group of 30 individuals representing schools, organizations, coalitions and businesses. Currently the City of Keene, the Keene School District and five area coalitions are implementing action strategies designed to improve quality of life and prevent the leading causes of death for everyone. Learn more at: www.healthiestcommunity.org.

ABOUT MONADNOCK FOOD AND COMMUNITY COALITION
The Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition includes member organizations such as Keene State College Sustainability and the Dietetic Intern Program, the Cornucopia Project, USDA Farm Service Agency, UNH Cooperative Extension, Franklin Pierce University Sustainability, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, among others who are aligning to work on healthy food initiatives outlined in the coalition’s strategic plan. The Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition is a partner with Healthy Monadnock 2020, a coordinated community engagement initiative to make the Monadnock region the nation’s healthiest community by 2020.

ABOUT THE FILM
In Participant Media’s A Place at the Table, a Magnolia Pictures release, directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford. Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides — as they have in the past — that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all.

ABOUT PARTICIPANT MEDIA
Participant (participantmedia.com) is a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature films, television, publishing and digital content that inspire social change.  Participant's more than 40 films include GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, SYRIANA, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, FOOD, INC., WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”, THE HELP, CONTAGION and LINCOLN.  Participant’s social action campaigns and digital network TakePart.com continue the conversation and connect audiences to a wealth of content and actions.  Its new millennial television network Pivot (pivot.tv), launching this summer in 40 million-plus homes, is TV forThe New Greatest Generation. www.participantmedia.com

ABOUT ACTIVE VOICE
Active Voice (www.activevoice.net) tackles social issues through the creative use of film. We believe that real progress requires real connection, and that film has a unique power to bring people together in meaningful ways. Every day Active Voice helps filmmakers, funders and communities start the conversations and relationships that lead to lasting, measurable change. Active Voice has worked with a wide range of award-winning films, including Food, Inc., The Visitor, Made in L.A. and American Promise. www.activevoice.net

ABOUT ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

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