Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Lunch Line: Do Something Reel™ Film Festival

In 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 Lunch Line, which takes a new look at the National School Lunch Program by exploring its past, current challenges and opportunities for the future.

The National School Lunch Program began in 1946, and now - more than 60 years later - the program feeds more than 31 million children every day. In Lunch Line, leaders from all sides of the school food debate, including government officials, school foodservice experts, activists and students, weigh in on the program and discuss ways to continue nourishing America’s children for another 60 years.

The film follows six kids from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago as they set out to fix school lunch — and end up at the White House. Their unlikely journey parallels the dramatic transformation of school lunch from a patchwork of local anti-hunger efforts to a robust national feeding program. The film tracks the behind-the-scenes details of school lunch and childhood hunger from key moments in the past to the present, revealing political twists, surprising alliances, and more common ground than people might realize.

Revealing the history and complexity of issues such as child welfare, the public good and the problem of hunger, Lunch Line shows how those on all sides of the lunch line can work together for a common good: the health of America’s kids. Get a taste of this nourishing documentary in this preview.

Lunch Line // Trailer from uji films on Vimeo.

Filmmakers Ernie Park and Michael Graziano formed Uji Films in 2007. Their award-winning films have aired nationally and internationally in more than 100 countries and have screened at a variety of well-known film venues and festivals in the US and internationally.

Lunch Line is available through the festival’s web site until the end of the month.

A new film will be launched online on the first of each month. Prices vary by film with proceeds helping to fund two $25,000 AFI Silverdocs grants for filmmakers in the green genre. There is one viewing per purchase. Do Something Reel marks the first time these documentaries will be available to purchase and stream online, so make sure to watch them while they are available. 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 The Love of Beer in October.

Real and lasting change for school food requires alliances – often unlikely ones. How is your community network already working together for the sake of children’s health?