A Place at the Table Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'A Place at the Table' is a documentary by directors Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson that examines the problem of hunger in different parts of America. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this film.

A Place at the Table

'A Place at the Table' by Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson looks at social and health consequences for American citizens who struggle to get proper nutrition due to poverty. Students will gain understanding of the problems facing many of their peers that will enable them to discuss solutions.


The questions in this section will help students learn about the first part of the film.

  • What is shown in the opening shots? Why?
  • Describe Collbran, Colorado.
  • Who is Rosie? Describe her family.
  • Why is food limited in Rosie's family?
  • What part does the church play in feeding the community?
  • Compare hunger in America to hunger in Africa.
  • Compare Collbran to Philadelphia.
  • How does the culture in Philadelphia contribute to poverty?
  • What are Barbie Izquierdo's dreams for her future?
  • What resources are available for Barbie?
  • What challenges does she face?
  • Why types of food does Barbie feed her family? Why?
  • What is food insecurity?
  • How pervasive is food insecurity?
  • How is the Mississippi Delta similar and different from Collbran and Philadelphia?
  • Why might obesity be related to food insecurity?
  • Who is Tremonica? What health issues does Tremonica face because of lack of nutrition?
  • How does Tremonica's mother choose food for her family?
  • How has the cost of fresh and processed foods changed over the past 30 years?
  • How have the farming subsidy programs contributed to issues with quality food?
  • What types of things does the USDA do?
  • What is the difference between social and corporate welfare?
  • Who is Ree Harris? What is her background?
  • What challenges does Ree face in obtaining fruits and vegetables for her family? Why?
  • What is a food desert?
  • Why is food shopping difficult for Barbie?
  • What are issues related to eligibility for public assistance?
  • Are food stamp allocations sufficient? Why?
  • How does food insecurity in America compare with other countries?
  • Why was Barbie denied food stamps after Aiden's birth?
  • What health problems does Aiden face?
  • What are some lifelong problems that can occur for children who do not receive proper nourishment during the first three years of life?


The following questions will help students understand the middle of the movie.

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