Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/123797

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Page 3 of 103

EDITOR'S LETTER A Place at the Table R ecently, Specialty Food Association staff screened "A Place at the Table," a documentary about hunger in the United States. Besides a personal interest by many staffers, the Association is beginning to focus on its commitment to hunger relief—part of its new vision, and something you'll be hearing more about in the coming months. The film is an eye-opener into the pervasiveness of hunger. Nearly 49 million people in this country—one in four children—are food insecure, meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from. "A Place at the Table" attempts to put a face on the issue by introducing us to several people, including Barbie, a Philadelphia single mother who struggles with obstacles in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Rosie, a fifth grader from Colorado whose parents work three jobs between them, providing too much income to qualify for assistance but not enough to buy food every day. One of the film's contentions is that hunger and obesity are neighbors—stemming from insufficient ways for lowincome populations to access food they need to stay healthy. Barbie must travel an hour on two buses to a supermarket to buy fresh food; often she resorts to shopping in neighborhood bodegas where processed foods are available and affordable. Rosie's family is helped by donations from community food banks—which mostly consist of processed, high-sugar, high-fat packaged snacks. "A Place at the Table" stresses that high-calorie foods are often the least expensive. In it, Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University and author of Food Politics, notes that the price of fruits and vegetables has increased about 40 percent since 1980 while the price of processed food has decreased 40 percent. The film touches on factors such as hefty subsidies to industrial farms that grow corn, soy and wheat, crops that are largely used in processed foods. Other factors referenced include government allotments per person/per meal, school meal programs, healthcare costs and social stigmas. Where "A Place at the Table" most succeeds is in moving us beyond the notion that hunger equates to images we've seen of famine and starvation in other parts of the world and showing how widespread the problem is here, posing troubling social and cultural implications. Throughout, we're shown the impact hunger has on children especially, derailing health, development and academic performance—in short, amounting to untold lost potential among the people who represent the future of our country. Effecting change on such an enormous issue is overwhelming, but small steps in food and nutrition education can add up. (The film features one moving scene of students around eight years old encouraged by their teacher to taste honeydew melon for the first time.) Some good news is the specialty food trade already boasts a notable track record in getting involved in these issues in their communities from chefs improving school lunch programs, to retailers holding in-store cooking classes, to producers arranging tours of farms to demonstrate where food comes from. These are areas where we can continue to donate time, effort and funds and, with the Specialty Food Association's plans to harness activities of its members and constituents in assisting hunger relief, work toward making a bigger impact. |SFM| @ specialtyfood.com HAVE A COMMENT? Go to specialtyfood.com/dpurcell/hunger By Denise Purcell Editor, Specialty Food Magazine dpurcell@specialtyfood.com facebook.com/craftcarejoy MAY/JUNE 2013 1

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