Hunger in America -- and in the Tri-Valley -- will take center stage Jan. 16 in Pleasanton during a free screening of the award-winning film "A Place at the Table: One Nation Underfed."

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave. The event is co-sponsored by Open Heart Kitchen, the City of Pleasanton and the Dublin Rotary Club. After the film, Linda McKeever, Open Heart Kitchen's executive director, will provide an overview of hunger in the Tri-Valley and host a question-and-answer session.

The 2012 film examines the paradox of hunger in the United States through the stories of three Americans who face daily worries about how to find food, and discusses how hunger creates serious economic and social problems. Insight is provided by hunger activist and actor Jeff Bridges, author Raj Patel and Tom Colicchio, of the TV show "Top Chef."

"This is a fabulous film," said Open Heart board member Joanne Hall. "Having this screening and making it available for free is part of our goal as a board to educate people about hunger.

"I think people in the Tri-Valley don't think about it as much as those in areas with large homeless populations or more poverty. We live in a fairly affluent area, but there is hunger here," she said.

Open Heart Kitchen provides 263,000 meals in the Tri-Valley each year. Because it relies on a network of community organizations, businesses and volunteers, organizers hope the film will motivate others to become involved in helping to meet the need.


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"We're hoping we'll get a good cross-section of the entire valley community here," Hall said. "This is a good opportunity to get to know Open Heart Kitchen ... it's not necessarily about fundraising or bringing in money, although that always helps our efforts. Our primary intent is to make this film available so people can learn."

if you go:
What: Film screening of "A Place at the Table: One Nation Underfed," followed by local perspective and question-and-answer session hosted by Linda McKeever, the executive director of Open Heart Kitchen.
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 16. Seating is limited; early arrival is recommended.
Where: Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton.
Cost: Free