Food is as central to America’s idea of itself as freedom is. “Amber waves of grain” and “fruited plain” share top billing in “America the Beautiful” with “spacious skies” and “purple mountain majesties.” Conversely, an absence of food is an absence of freedom. A hungry person is not a free person.
It’s estimated that 49 million people in the United States either regularly go hungry or don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That latter condition, known as food insecurity, isn’t quite the same as hunger; but the line between them is porous — and insidious. Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush’s documentary, “A Place at the Table,” looks at a range of issues related to hunger and food insecurity: childhood obesity, poor nutrition, “food deserts” (areas without access to markets offering fresh, reasonably priced food), agribusiness, government food subsidies (70 percent go to 10 percent of growers), processed foods, and government food assistance programs.