We’ve all driven right by them. We’ve all walked on by, crossing to the other side out of caution. Who are they? What do they want? How did children grow up only to climb through a dumpster for half-eaten food, and end their winter days in a tent in the richest country in the world?
“Hungry Now” hopes to connect a few dots, connecting the kids being cared for by teachers, to the sketchy shadows off the road. Voices you’ve never heard before are here, the mic is on and it’s not what you may expect to hear: the young couple by the dumpster; the man with the dark hat by the abandoned gas station in Bangor, Maine, the man bundled into his wheelchair with everything he will ever own, by the Penobscot bridge, not asking you for a thing.
These voices, including many of “The Helpers”, as Mr. Rogers called them, are contrasted by current Middle School students in the 2021 Cobscook TREE program, which applied a complete trauma-sensitive, educational wellness plan to children in Downeast Maine. This film is about childhood hunger and its memories, from the Mi Casa childrens’ shelter in El Salvador, feeding and educating homeless children, ages one-to-24, for 32 years, to Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy struggles, to Maine middle schoolers and adults who missed the benefits of a first world country.
The UMM Downweast Doc film crew and researchers are Sam LaRusse, Nicholas Sanborn, Amanda Sawyer, Robin Hadlock Seeley, Hannah Somers-Jones, Suzie Milkowich, Aiyla Petty, Amanda Quinn, Megan Racila, and Beth Staples.
Tickets obtainable here.