Nov 09 2012
Food insecurity in California has doubled during this most recent recession. According to a study by the California Health Interview Survey, one in six low-income Californians have gone hungry to save money. This is up from one in twelve in 2001. As a result, low-income families are forced to make tough choices – pay the bills or feed the kids.
The state’s existing food stamp program, known as CalFresh is not fully enrolled, with 3.5 million eligible individuals not participating.
Numbers of enrollees show that food insecurity increased between 2001 and 2009 amongst all low-income groups including people who were married, from 29 to 40 percent, as well as employed individuals whose participation in the program jumped from 28 percent to 43 percent. Spanish speaking, low-income adults experienced the highest level of food insecurity among all low-income groups.
To make matters worse, children in California are also going hungry. More than half of the state’s 6 million public school students are eligible for free or reduced price meals, yet less than 1 million children take advantage of Calfresh.
These grim statistics on hunger have inspired a new play by Cornerstone Theater Company, focusing on South Los Angeles. Seed: A Weird Act of Faith features a multi-racial cast portraying the struggle to eradicate hunger through characters like “disgruntled agricultural gods, ragtag activists, an unhinged farmer, a smart-talking stalk of broccoli, and a cynical businessman.”
This play is the second in a series on hunger called The Hunger Cycle. The first play in the series, Cafe Vida, was featured on Uprising in April. This second play, Seed, focuses on the challenges facing South LA communities over hunger and their struggle to control access to food in an urban setting. The play, which is written by Sigrid Gilmer and directed by Shishir Kurup, is showing at Chuco’s Justice Center in Inglewood and runs through November 18.
GUESTS: Sigrid Gilmer, playwright of Seed: A Weird Act of Faith, Raquel Gutierrez, Manager of Community Partnerships at Cornerstone Theater Company
Seed: A Weird Act of Faith is showing at Chuco’s Justice Center, 1137 E. Redondo Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90302.
Performances are Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. Through Nov 18. No performance on Friday, November 12.
Local produce will be on sale before the Saturday and Sunday performances.
Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Find out more at www.CornerstoneTheater.org/seed or call 213-613-1700.