The Hunger Games

The blockbuster hit The Hunger Games was the third largest grossing movie released in history and even has meaning here in San Luis Obispo County. Did you know that the movie is sponsoring hunger relief throughout the country and even worldwide? To find out how you can get involved go to the Hunger Games website for more information – 25% of each donation will benefit Feeding America supporting hunger locally, while 75% will go to World Food Programme a global hunger relief organization. To support local hunger relief visit

The underlying meaning of the movie is, of course, subject to the interpretation of the individual that spends the $8 bucks to go see the movie.  Yes, I know that’s cheap, but that’s what I paid on a weekday afternoon as a senior, not including the bucket of popcorn and diet soda I shared with my wife. 

So here’s my interpretation of Hunger Games, it is a futuristic look in the mirror.  I’m sitting there being entertained (and I was – I recommend it), pleased with my successful planning to only spend about $26 between the two of us (my wife didn’t have any of the popcorn as it turned out, but it somehow disappeared before the movie was over.)  That $26 would have provided 182 healthy meals for some of the 44,000 residents in our county. The largest population we serve is children whose families are dealing with the anxiety of their frightening economic situation.

It took me awhile to even want to see the movie because of its central plot – children who are forced to fight one another to their deaths. The surviving child rises to fame and glory, a beautiful home and gourmet food security – all in the guise of reminding them of what a great country they live in.

While my wife has read all three books in the Hunger Games series, I will admit to only watching the first movie.  I’m looking forward to seeing whether there is something more in The Hunger Games II and III – perhaps some path that might help to lead America (oops!  I mean Panem) away from a token treatment of hunger and the social ills it creates toward genuine concern and structural change that will fulfill our dream of freedom and justice for all.  Until then, it’s just a game…



Hunger Hurts Everyone

Hunger Hurts Everyone is a social media awareness campaign featuring a series of videos of clients, employees and volunteers involved with the Food Bank Coalition. “We hope the community will take away from the videos the fact that hunger does hurt everyone,” said Megan Chicoine,Volunteer Coordinator for the Food Bank Coalition.

The videos were created to educate the San Luis Obispo county residents about the diversity of people affected by hunger in the community. Lucy Escarcega, a former Food Bank client and current volunteer, said most people including herself would never expect to utilize the food bank but then end up needing to. “Unexpected circumstances happen to everyone,” she said. “The clients who use the Food Bank come from all walks of life and due to the economy, we see a lot of families and children.”

The “Hunger Hurts Everyone” videos also reveal what motivates individuals to donate their time to help the program. Frank Hernandez has built a strong connection to the program by volunteering over the years, and wishes to see the coalition’s younger volunteer base grow. “It’s very rewarding, knowing that I can help these people,” he said. “I came here one day and saw all of the elderly volunteers passing out food and I said to myself that I could do it too.”

Cal Poly public relations students teamed up with the Food Bank to create the “Hunger Hurts Everyone” social media campaign and helped launch the Food Banks first video-based awareness campaign. To view the “Hunger Hurts Everyone” campaign visit YouTube or click on the links below:

Why Does Hunger Hurt in San Luis Obispo County?

Lucy’s Story

Frank’s Story

Christine’s Story

How Can You Help?