A new Colorado initiative attempts to document the reality of life on food stamps, particularly in the Denver Metro area. The program uses the photovoice method to allow those for whom hunger is a reality to share their experience with the larger community. Fifteen women were invited to participate in the program’s first run, according to PBS.
The “Hunger Through My Lens” mission statement reads:
Digital cameras are the main medium for participants to express themselves and put real stories to the overwhelming statistics surrounding hunger. The photographs will provide tangible evidence that there is a need to face the impacts of hunger on individuals, families and communities throughout Colorado.
Scroll down to see a few of the best submissions.
“Poor people encounter signs like this every day. They wait in line to hand in paperwork for assistance. They wait in line at food banks, at soup kitchens. Often it feels like too much of my life is spent just waiting.”
“I took the photo of the beautiful bananas in a large, chain supermarket in a nice neighborhood. The other bananas, which were over-ripe and more expensive, were in little corner bodega in a low-income neighborhood. It struck me that people living in poverty have no chance of eating nutritionally with that kind of disparity.”
“AIDS. Food is Medicine Too”
“I have AIDS. And I’ve discovered that my medicine doesn’t work if I’m not eating right. The driver’s license photo on the left was taken in September 2007 when I wasn’t eating well. The photo on the right was taken in August of last year. Look how much better I look when I’m eating well! Food feeds not just the body but the soul.”
“The Land Is Plentiful, So Why Isn’t Access?”
“I took this photo of a community garden in Denver. This small plot of land helps provide food for people who don’t have enough money to buy fresh produce. There is so much land available in this country for gardens like this. Why don’t more people have have access to it?”
“This photo represents a couple of things for me. First, you can’t eat with a broken fork just like people in this country can’t eat because of a broken system. But the photo also symbolizes the delicate balancing act that people in poverty have to maintain– finding employment, housing, transportation and food.”
“November: SNAP Cuts and Garden Frozen”
“My family relies on two main sources for food: our garden and SNAP benefits. Last November it seemed especially cruel that SNAP benefits were cut at the same time winter frost killed off the last of our tomatoes.”
“The stress of $50 a week — $2.40 per person, per day for one mom, two kids.”
“After I lost my job, grocery shopping became extremely stressful. Even just the act of making the shopping list caused stress, knowing I wouldn’t be able to afford many of the items on the list. One morning, I saw that my nephew had written ‘I love you’ on my grocery list, and just that small notation made me feel so much better.”