Hollywood helps combat hunger … in Humboldt

By Katelyn Roudebush
Flapjack Chronicle

Actor Jeff Bridges speaks at HSU on behalf of Food for People.
Actor Jeff Bridges speaks at HSU on behalf of Food for People.

Food for People, a local organization, hosted a screening of the recent movie, “A Place at the Table,” on campus in September for both students and community members. The documentary began with a special message to Humboldt County from Jeff Bridges welcoming Humboldt County viewers and thanking Food for People as well as the volunteers in our county for our contribution to the fight against hunger.

“Hopefully the movie will inspire all of to take some action,” Bridges concluded in his message.

The movie then focused on the problem of hunger in the nation and was followed by statements from a panel of speakers from the organization. This event although attended by many did not have as many students in attendance as some hoped.

James Barnett, a senior at HSU double majoring in both psychology and communication, is a service learning intern and was one of the panelists at the event. Barnett became interested in the issue last year when he conducted a campus wide survey to detect the amount of food security at Humboldt. He explained that even though the screening was well publicized, the majority of students missed out.

“Many of the students who went to the movie did not stay for the discussion which gave a better idea of the issue in our own community,” Barnett explained.

The screening was projected for both community members and students to be an educational, enjoyable event as well as to bring awareness to the different programs offered in Humboldt county. Unfortunately, these programs in our community are only as helpful as the amount of volunteers for each program.

One of these programs, the food pantry has had to slim down the amount of days as well as hours on those given days because of the lack of volunteers. Programs like these take all sorts of volunteers, both community members as well as students. 

Savannah Towles,  a theatre arts major,  did not attend the screening but has been made aware of the issue in  classes. She believes that more students should get involved.

“As much as I think school work is important, I believe the cause is worth fighting for and that more students should take the time to volunteer,” Towles said.

Fortunately there are other ways students could get involved in this issue without conflicting too much with their schedules. Heidi McHugh, the community education and outreach coordinator for Food for People, was also on the panel during the screening and talked about the recent farm bill that is in the process of being passed in California.

McHugh informed the audience of the downsides of the farm bill and how important it is to get involved in the pressing issue that has the potential to effect us all.

“First and foremost, keep contacting your senator and your house representative, they need to hear from us,” McHugh said. “When people get loud on an issue it does resonate.”

McHugh also explained that the simplest way of contributing to the issue is to educate oneself properly with the correct information and then to share that new found information to expel the myths that have been created to justify the bill.

Overall food for people was proud of their event and hopes that their message continues to echo across our community and our campus.

To contact your house representative or senator follow this link, www.house.gov/representative/find/

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