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Food Stamped: Do Something Reel Film Festival

Do Something ReelIn April we proudly launched the Do Something Reel Film Festival, an online collection of provocative, character-driven films that focus on food, environmental issues and everyday people with a vision of making a world of difference. Simply put, it’s a celebration of people who understand that small steps can create big change. The Do Something Reel Film Festival continues this month with Food Stamped, an educational and humorous documentary following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget.

Food StampedNutrition educator Shira Potash teaches cooking classes to elementary school students in low-income neighborhoods, most of who are eligible for food stamps. In an effort to walk a mile in their shoes, Shira and her husband Yoav embark on the Food Stamp Challenge, eating on roughly one dollar per meal per person – the average food stamp allotment. During the challenge, the couple consults with members of Congress, food justice activists, nutrition experts and ordinary people living on food stamps to take a deep, eye-opening look at America’s broken food system.

Is it possible to eat healthfully on a food stamp budget? While Shira and Yoav do their best to make healthy choices at the market on their self-imposed budget, the obstacles they encounter highlight the link between obesity and low incomes. Here’s a sneak peek at what they discovered:

FOOD STAMPED official trailer from Yoav Potash on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Yoav Potash is a critically acclaimed producer and director, whose other films include “Crime After Crime”, a Sundance Film Festival documentary and a New York Times Critic’s Pick that has won 23 major awards. Shira Potash is a certified nutrition educator with a Masters in Community Health Education. This is her first film.

Visit the festival’s web site to rent Food Stamped through these digital platforms: iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video, Youtube VOD and Cinema Now.

A new film will be launched online each month on the platforms listed above. They are available for rental for $3.99 in standard definition and $4.99 in high definition and include exclusive interviews with the filmmakers. There is one viewing per purchase. Visit Do Something Reel’s web site for additional video, behind-the-scenes talks with filmmakers and other materials free of charge. Plus, stay tuned for these upcoming films:

December: Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean

January: Betting the Farm

February: The Greenhorns

March: Bonsai People

Should the government limit what can be bought with food stamps? What, if anything, should be limited? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Susan says …

Would love to have a green Thanksgiving. If I can't have the whole dinner I will be planning on buying a lot of the "pieces" of it from Whole Food.s Thanks

Eileen says …

Try living on $80 a month in food stamps. That's what one person gets in Florida

Z says …

I receive food stamps and me and my family eat healthy food and more organic foods. I have more of a vegetarian diet I only eat meat once a week and its fish or chicken (organic or Amish) . I have my daughter removing meat from her diet twice a week and meat once a day on other days and only fish, chicken & turkey. You can eat healthy on food stamps the problem isn't that low income families cant eat healthy its because they are not educated about healthy eating. Regardless if your financial status if you are not educated about health, exercise, proper food combination, GMO foods, health risk, etc you will suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, type two diabetes and many more illnesses. What the government allows companies like Monsanto to do to our food is sad and insane. Low income families need more programs where they can be taught this information to make more inform decisions when grocery shopping for their families. I like the concept that this movie based upon.

Melissa J. says …

In Seattle, as a single person collecting unemployment, I would get $15/month. At least that is what their calculator says. I am just biting the bullet and hoping for the best in my job search because 16 cents per meal is not a workable food budget. When you live downtown, even ramen noodles can cost more than that.

Donna at NothingChocolate says …

The movie can also be borrowed from the New York Public Library. It depicted a very sad reality - the government does not promote nor support healthy eating for it's poorest and neediest citizens. In addition it penalizes and berates us for doing the best we can with what we have.

Natalie says …

I've seen this film and it's terrible. I like what Z said below...it's a matter of education. I only spend a few dollars to make each meal in my house, but I'm only able to do that because I know what's healthy, how to prepare it, etc

Liz says …

Food stamps are meant to Supplement the food budget, not to BE it.

Vadim says …

Excellent preview, can't wait to watch the movie! This is so needed right now especially with all the hardships that people face along with rising food costs. Bravo for making this picture.

C says …

I think it would be an awful, ridiculous, and shameful idea to limit any food that can be bought with food stamps. Whatever food that is within the low, miserable budget set by the transitional assistance office should be okay to buy.

Ginger says …

Families can eat healthy but they can't get enough food on a food stamp budget. Children want more normal food their peers have and many kids have allergies. Eggs for breakfast is great, unless you are allergic! Or, what if you're gluten free? That's much more pricey! My husband was laid off and we received $260 for a family of five. That is nothing for our dietary needs. We couldn't afford rent and so it was lowered. Immediately the dropped our food stamps to $211 dollars. What a joke. We wouldn't be able to afford rent, food, and car on unemployment. That god for family. We would starve if it were up to Reublicans!

A says …

There are a lot of people on food stamps who are uneducated and simply don't care. You can educate people as much as you want and it does help...for those who receive it and apply it. However, it won't necessarily make people care about something and change a culture. They have to choose it, want it and apply it.

A says …

As for the question proposed above from WF, sure...certain foods should be restricted. Try restricting all 'food-like substances' such as cheese wiz, ramen noodles, soda, etc. almost every boxed, prepackaged and processed food in stores. Allow only 'real foods' to be purchased. Great idea right? 'Tis a catch 22...food like substances are cheaper, go further and keep a belly more full. So, eat less and eat better. Unfortunately, most people aren't that motivated. It's a chronic system and a chronic cycle with Americans living under a chronic government.

Ellasbeth says …

I was disabled at a young age after a bad car accident. My husband works, but I cannot seem to find work due to my circumstances. We have 2 teen daughters, and it is hard to stay afloat. Recieving food assistance has been our only option. I never take it for granted as what it is...a supplement to income but not a supplement to our grocery bill. It is our grocery allotment. I use coupons when applicable and do all I can as it is all we have for food until I get our garden planted this spring. I Pray for a bumper crop.