Leftovers: The story of aging Americans going hungry

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Leftovers PosterI won´t say this documentary, coming out in VOD July 11 and DVD August 29, will change your life. That´s up to you. Seth Hancock, the director of Leftovers, admits that at first the subject meant nothing to him. He never considered going hungry nor growing old. However, as he travelled the country learning about the subject and putting faces , names, and stories to statistics, he changed from careless to advocate. Throughout the documentary, Seth interviews both people helping the aging and the seniors themselves.

He begins his journey in Marin County, California, the nation´s richest county and then visits the nation´s poorest, Owsely. In both places he finds lonely elderly people without the resources to feed themselves (and also sometimes family members dependent on them). Crossing the country to other areas, Seth is moved to tears by the selflessness of one elderly gentleman suffering from severe illness who, although a recipient of Meals on Wheels, explains why he gives money to Feed the Children.

Repeatedly, those interviewed in Leftovers emphasize that the elderly need more than just food. They need to be in community and be shown love and attention. One woman expresses that without the community center, she would probably be dead.

This film is well worth the hour and a bit it takes to watch it.  Beyond simply educating, it provides real-life examples of people struggling to put food on their table in addition to struggling with loneliness.  The documentary also features the daily heros who work to change the status quo, even as they face the difficulty of uncaring government officials, lack of funds to keep their organizations moving forward, and red tape associated with food service.

As you watch Leftovers, please, no guilt trips. Those do very little good. Instead, let the information, the interviews, the faces, and the stories enter your heart. Call your grandparents or adopt new ones if you have none. Let the documentary encourage you to lower the number of six million hungry elderly by the number of seniors in your life.

 

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