About 60 people gathered in Chukchansi Park on Saturday night not to watch a sporting event, but to learn about the pain of food insecurity.
The Fresno Metro Ministry, in partnership with the Grizzlies Community Fund, hosted a free showing of the documentary "A Place At The Table" to spread awareness of a problem some might not even know exists in Fresno.
"Our proximity to agriculture makes people believe we don't have hungry people," said Tom Matott with the Fresno Metro Ministry. "The amount of food we grow feeds the world. The problem is local food systems don't have what they need."
Attendee Kiel Schmidt, who with family and friends runs Tower Urban Family Farm in Fresno's Tower District, said healthy food options are limited in his neighborhood and his group's urban farm helps feed the hungry.
"Awareness is a problem," Schmidt said. "There isn't a face on it. People are embarrassed and don't tell other people that they are hungry."
Matott said he hopes showing the movie will help to educate people about a problem most associate with Third World countries.
Attendees Laura and Darren Williams went to one of those countries, Haiti, with a group from their church to help feed hungry children. Laura Williams said she has volunteered at local schools and seen children sent to the nurse's office to get a snack because they are too hungry to concentrate.
"They get taken out of class because of something that shouldn't be a problem in America," she said.
The documentary producers say 50 million Americans -- 1 in 4 children -- don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Sitting on the outfield grass, Mike Wells watched the film with his 6-year-old son, Gabriel, who is about the same age as many of the kids in the documentary. Wells said he wanted to educate his son about the issue.
"He's not grasping all the concepts, but I want him aware and to have a sense of social responsibility."
For more information, contact Tom Matott of Fresno Metro Ministry at (559) 485-1416 or email@example.com. For more information about hunger in America, text "FOOD" to 77177. For more information about the documentary, go to takepart.com/place-at-the-table.
See a clip from the documentary on Bethany Clough's Beehive page.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.