Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Supports Community Outreach Program to Spur Local Solutions to Hunger and Obesity

Program Inspired by Participant’s Acclaimed Documentary A Place at the Table

    • July 25, 2013

Los Angeles—Participant Media and Active Voice have joined forces to spearhead a community outreach program focused on the issues of food insecurity and obesity, using Participant’s highly acclaimed documentary A Place at the Table as its centerpiece.  With a grant of nearly $350,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the program will host screenings and panel discussions of the film in 25 communities, and it will engage local organizations to help increase the availability of affordable healthy foods for their communities and throughout the country.

Building on a previous collaboration around the film Food, Inc., Participant Media and Active Voice aim to foster coordination among local groups to support a growing national movement to improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities, end hunger and reverse epidemic rates of obesity. The program provides materials about these intertwined challenges and potential solutions in both English and Spanish. In each community, Active Voice is partnering with local groups to strengthen efforts to engage residents, families, and policy-makers. 

“Lives are at stake,” said Chad Boettcher, Executive Vice President for Social Action and Advocacy at Participant Media. “So we want to make the most of the visibility that A Place at the Table has brought to the dual challenges of hunger and obesity in America.”

Shaady Salehi, Executive Director of Active Voice added, “The urgency of this issue presents us with only one option: let’s work together to get to the root of the problem. It’s great to see communities embracing this approach, and the film has been pivotal in sparking that kind of problem-solving.”

The first of the community events kicks off today in Brownsville, Texas, with subsequent events rolling out through early October. Additional communities include Louisville, Kentucky; Baltimore, Maryland; Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California; Fresno, California; Bakersfield, California; Buffalo County, Wisconsin; Silver City, New Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Holyoke, Massachusetts; Oahu, Hawaii; Keen, Connecticut; Okmulgee, Oklahoma; and New Orleans, Louisiana.

About The Film

50 Million Americans—1 in 4 children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place at the Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides—as they have in the past—that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.

A Place at the Table is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

 

About the 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 than 40 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.

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 (www.pivot.tv), launching August 2013 in 40 million-plus homes, is TV for The New Greatest Generation.

About Active Voice

Active Voice 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. Since our inception in 2001, Active Voice has influenced local, regional and national dialogue on issues including immigration, criminal justice, healthcare and education. www.activevoice.net

 

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

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