The Hunger Games is quickly becoming cry for supporting the fight against hunger in the U.S. and abroad. The movie, which is set in the future after North America has suffered famine, is partnering with Feeding America and the World Food Programme.
The Manna Food Bank of North Carolina is holding a Hunger Games food drive. A sculpture based on the film was even set up at the nearby theater.
Design of a Mockingjay for a Hunger Games Food Drive (courtesy Manna Food Bank)
The West End Library in Washington, DC is conducting a food drive with the film’s release. The library’s web site states it hopes to draw attention to child hunger in the District. Feeding America states, “The District of Columbia (32.3%) and Oregon (29.2%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.”
KHAS TV in Nebraska says that Hastings High School held a Hunger Games Food Drive. The students came up with the idea and set up a canned good collection at the Hastings Imperial Theater.
WSLS TV in Virginia reports that two high school classes carried out a food drive to benefit a local pantry in connection with their own Hunger Games trivia competition. WCYB TV reports that movie goers have been asked to bring in canned goods to the theater which will be donated to the Second Harvest Foodbank of Northeast Tennessee.
The owner of a movie theater in Temecula, California has also set up a Hunger Games food drive. Also in California, the Monterey Free County Libraries are hosting a food drive in conjunction with the opening of the film.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks says she believes more such events are underway in her state. She says that the Cleveland Food Bank is also helping spread the word about a Sundance independent film about hunger called Finding North.
The Hunger Games has an opportunity to inspire action against the famine currently threatening the Sahel region of Africa as well as Sudan. East Africa was struck by famine last year and is still recovering. Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and other countries are also facing severe hunger.
At the same time the President and the U.S. Congress are committing a small amount of funding for the Food for Peace program, the country’s main tool in fighting global hunger since the Eisenhower administration. The World Food Program USA is asking citizens to call on Congress to increase funding for Food for Peace from $1.4 billion to $2 billion to meet the growing crisis.
The Hunger Games, although fiction, has a chance to do some real world good if it inspires action and interest into hunger issues. Sometimes film is what it takes. An academy award winning film, The Seeds of Destiny, once inspired people to act against hunger in the wake of World War II. President Truman’s Cabinet Committee on World Food Programs even set up a viewing of the film.
With the fact that hunger is growing worldwide this kind of activism could not come at a more important time.