DENVER - With a click, a camera captures a moment and experience to share with others. Nine local women have taken photographs to share, but their stories are personal and show how hunger affects their families and our communities. They are all participants-the real-life experts-of a new advocacy project called Hunger Through My Lens. Their first photo exhibit is on display to the public through Aug. 31 at the central branch of the Denver Public Library.
Hunger Through My Lens is a project of Hunger Free Colorado, the state's leading anti-hunger organization, aimed to shed light on the reality of hunger in the Denver metro area. Digital cameras are the main medium for participants to express themselves and put real stories to the overwhelming statistics surrounding hunger and food insecurity.
"More than 800,000 of our neighbors are at risk of hunger, but this prevalent issue, one that impacts everyone, is often silent and invisible," said Kathy Underhill, executive director for Hunger Free Colorado. "Hunger Through My Lens serves as a platform for Coloradans to share their stories. The participants-those who experience hunger-are the experts and the foundation of this project, and showcasing their perspective is the first step in working towards new solutions."
The first group of participants includes nine women of varying ages, locations and backgrounds. They range in age from early 20s to mid-60s and reside in local areas, such as Aurora, Capitol Hill, Conifer, Commerce City, Park Hill, Lakewood and Montbello. Their photographs and stories shared in the Hunger Through My Lens exhibits showcase their experiences coping with health issues, living on the streets, raising children on their own or just being impacted by the recession-and how hunger has impacted their lives.
Traveling exhibits of Hunger Through My Lens will display the participants' photographs and stories at locations across the Denver metro area, providing community members and policy makers with the opportunity to experience everyday life from their perspective. It also allows individuals to engage in critical dialogue not only about the issue, but sustainable solutions that can ensure all Coloradans have access to needed nutrition through healthy, affordable food.
"The participants' photographs provide tangible evidence that there is a need to face the impacts of hunger on individuals, families and communities throughout Colorado," shared Underhill. "It's time to change how we view and understand the issue of hunger, and we need to include individuals impacted by the issue in solving the problem across our state."
This project received funding support from ConAgra Foods Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, one of the founding funders for Hunger Free Colorado.
To learn more about Hunger Through My Lens, its traveling exhibits and how you can be a part of the solution, visit www.HungerFreeColorado.org.
Content written and provided by Michelle Ray, director of communications for Hunger Free Colorado.
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