Leftovers (2017) Movie Script

- [Seth] If I were to say
senior citizens and old people,
what's the first thing
that comes to your mind?
- Bad driving.
- [Seth] Yeah?
- Yeah.
- Well, I don't know.
I guess I would think of, you
know, like old folks' homes,
like residences and
healthcare, things like that.
- Social security, Medicare,
retirement plans.
- My mother.
- Grandparents, grandmas.
They get cheaper bus tickets.
- I mean, I have nothing
against old people
at all, you know?
The only thing about old
people is just, I mean,
let's be honest,
they're old people.
- The problem here with
the seniors is they're lost
and they're forgotten,
because everybody's so busy
with their life that they forget
that the seniors
have a big need.
- People have ostracized
our seniors, and it's sad,
because that's our
greatest source of wisdom.
- Generally people have
an idea that, you know,
that because you get older,
you don't have value.
- [Seth] So if I told you
that every day in America,
six million seniors go hungry,
what would you say to that?
- You know, it's heartbreaking,
and I really didn't know that.
- I'd say that's believable.
And it's a shame.
- I guess I'm not
educated enough.
I thought they would
have a lot more money
than some of the
younger population.
- You know what, that's
by choice, my man.
I have to say that's by choice.
- That would make me think
about how we've moved away
from family units, taking
care of elderly and moved
towards kind of assigning
them their own separate lives.
- It's shameless in a
country such as America,
because I think there's
enough for everyone here.
- The problem of senior
hunger in America is real.
It's a real problem,
it's a terrible problem.
- They're the people
who fought our wars.
They're the people who
have built our towns,
educated our children, and
protected our communities.
They should not be hungry.
They should not be the new
face of hunger in America.
- It's not just about poverty.
It's not just about
lack of funds.
To a lot of people,
it's about the lack
of ability to help themselves.
- I live in Los Angeles.
- [Seth] That's
me, Seth Hancock.
I'm a photographer
in Los Angeles.
And, as of right now,
I'm a full-fledged
documentary filmmaker.
Well, not really.
You see, most people who
work on documentaries
do so because it's
a passion project,
or something that they've
pursued for a lifetime.
But in my case, I was actually
asked to make a documentary.
And not just any
documentary, mind you.
A documentary featuring
the most un-sexy subject
in all of America, senior
citizens and hunger.
Initially, I was going
to turn the project down,
because I've never gone
hungry a day in my life.
I really couldn't bring
anything to the table,
and rarely do I think
about getting old.
But for all the reasons I
wanted to say no to this project
are the exact reasons
I wanted to say yes.
Because I needed to see how
prevalent this is in America,
how this is gonna affect your
life or my life down the road.
And for those reasons alone,
I wanted to make this film.
This is my story.
Starting in Los Angeles and
not knowing a damn thing
about senior citizens and
hunger was a bit of a challenge,
so I did what anybody
else would do,
and I contacted the
Meals on Wheels program.
Unbeknownst to me, the
woman who founded it,
Sister Alice Marie Quinn,
happens to be kind of
a celebrity amongst celebrities
here in Los Angeles.
And fortunately enough,
she agreed to meet with me,
and to talk with me
about this project.
She showed me
around the facility,
and let me know what it
took to feed thousands
upon thousands of
people on a daily basis.
Needless to say,
I was blown away.
But, by the end of
our conversation,
I felt so much better about
knowing where to begin.
And then she said, I think
there's someone you should meet.
You need to go talk with Carla.
And that's exactly what I did.
- My name is Carla Laemmle.
I'm 101.
I was a professional dancer.
Carl Laemmle was my uncle.
He founded Universal Studios.
We lived right on the lot.
It was wonderful, I loved it.
I was brought up and
trained as a dancer,
but somehow, acting came
kind of natural to me.
I liked it.
I liked acting.
The first movie I was in
was Phantom of the Opera.
I believe I was 14 years old.
(dramatic music)
- [Seth] Do you remember
your line from Dracula?
- I hope so.
Among the rugged peaks that
frown down upon the Borgo Pass
are found crumbling
castles of a bygone age.
It was about 30 years ago
that I became very ill,
and they diagnosed it as TB.
And I was unable to go out
and do anything on my own.
And I have to have meals
delivered some way.
And I learned about this
company that brought food
to the house, and that
was how it all started
that I was able to live at home.
For me, it's the only
way I wanna live.
- [Seth] How
important is that meal
that gets delivered
to you everyday?
- It's very, very important.
I couldn't do without it.
It's my life.
"Dear Ms. Laemmle, hello.
"My name is Adam Barnette
and I'm a big fan
"and admirer of yours.
"You're my favorite actress.
"I would love if you
would please sign
"the two enclosed photos for
me, and for my brother CJ.
"We'd appreciate it
and always treasure it.
- One of the challenges
about aging is, in fact,
making sure that you
are properly nourished
when you do get older, so
that we can remain healthy,
we can remain in our own homes.
I don't know anybody in my
lifetime who's ever said,
"I can't wait to get old so
I can be in a nursing home."
- We're concerned about
the older person's safety,
and their level of care.
But sometimes we forget
about their quality of life.
And by placing them in an
assisted living facility,
or looking at some
type of nursing care,
we're restricting their
ability, their autonomy.
- [Seth] Where do you think
you would be physically,
if you didn't have a meal
delivered to you everyday?
- Well, I certainly
wouldn't be at home.
I would be in some institution
or a hospital of some kind,
where I wouldn't be
living my own life.
It makes life something
that I can look
forward to every day.
It gives meaning to my life.
I feel that life has
still a lot to offer me.
- [Seth] Meeting Carla
was a great experience,
but I knew if I was
gonna give any legitimacy
to this documentary, it meant
that I had to get out of LA.
In doing my research, I
learned about this guy
who runs a food bank and
delivers meals during the day,
but at night is a headbanging,
heavy metal drummer.
I mean, this could not be
any more of a departure
from Sister Alice Marie Quinn
than if I had
scripted it myself.
So I knew I had to get
up to Marin County,
because this could
be interesting.
(heavy metal music)
Do you think it's important
for people to be able to stay
in their homes, versus, say,
going to like a nursing home?
- I think so.
Some people, their entire
existence is what went on inside
that household, as their
families grew up and grew out.
Some of the people we serve
have been in their houses
since they first got married.
They still have the
markings of the doorframes
where their kids were
six and seven years old,
and then 14 years old,
and then you see some
of their grandkids
listed there as well.
It's a measurement of
success for their own life
that they get to stay there,
because this is what they
worked for their entire life,
that's what they paid
for their entire life.
And don't tell them that they
don't belong in their own homes.
- There have been a number
of studies that have looked
at older adults that have moved
into assisted living facilities,
senior nursing homes,
and once the move is made
and they move out of their
own home, and they are now
kind of separated
from their community,
from their neighborhood,
from their neighbors,
from the familiarity
of their surroundings,
their health usually declines
very rapidly, very quickly.
- If we look at the aging
population, Marin County
right now, we're over 20%
that are 60 years or older.
That number is gonna
continue to rise,
and it's not going
down anytime soon.
People are living longer.
Now people are living to be 95.
We have people that are 100
years old that we're serving.
Marin County, it's
very affluent,
and it's known for its wealth.
And I was coming to an area
where people were about
to lose their home-delivered
meals services,
which meant that these
same people that lived
in this affluent area
would start going hungry.
It had nothing to do with
the person that lived
in the three million dollar
home compared to the person
that lived in Section 8 housing.
It had to do with the
fact that this person
can't walk up and down
stairs to get their own mail.
They don't have a
driver's license.
How can you expect that person
to go to a grocery store
and bring home a
sack of groceries?
- Our country has
not necessarily
looked at the seniors
in a graceful way,
but I think we have,
we all hold some kind of
responsibility for saying
that senior today
is very different
than one 30, 40 years
ago in this country.
It really is unbelievable that
a country as rich as ours,
that we even have anybody
hungry in this country.
(knocking on door)
- [Victor] Mr. Graves.
- [Mr. Graves] Hi, how are you?
- [Victor] I'm doing well,
how are you doing today?
- Well, I'm pretty good.
Do you wanna come in, please?
- [Victor] Sure, sure.
How's everything going for you?
- Well, I just got
home from the hospital,
so I was over there
for a day or two.
The reason I thought someone
was knocking at the door,
I had one of the people
who delivers food to me,
and he's due here about now.
But he'll knock,
because he's due here.
- Everything that I do, as
long as I've ever done it,
the people that I work
with are very close to me
and very dear to me.
You got some milk that's
expiring today, Don.
I'm gonna take it
out of here for you.
- What's that?
- [Victor] You've got some
milk that's expiring today,
so I'm gonna take
it out for you.
- Okay, don't take too much,
because I don't have
anything to replace it.
- [Victor] You've
got six in there.
I just put two more in there.
So you've got six
in there right now.
- Fine, fine, fine.
- [Victor] I'll try
to bring us some more.
- I watch that very
closely, I must tell you.
- Definitely, from the
beginning, from day one,
since I got here, it's
been more than just a job.
It's been something
that I'm supposed to do.
- Come on in.
Let me let you sit down here,
because it's rude for you
to come here and not
have any place to sit.
- [Victor] Oh, that's okay.
I just think we're
appreciative that you
let us come in here today.
- Why, sure, of course.
- There's a lot of people
in America that are hungry.
If we can feed them
all, we should.
I believe we can.
- I used to have a memory
like you can't believe it.
I'm now 81, and I
notice a big difference.
- Being that you're
81, and Meals on Wheels
delivers food to you everyday,
and it's something that
helps you keep going.
- Yes, when they told me
that I was going to
get Meals on Wheels,
I said, I'll see how that works.
And it's been working.
And when I become
short of something,
I tell them about it,
and it seems to get done.
- We get our funding through
a grant, partial grant,
that comes through the
Older Americans Act.
And we base that to be
about 63 to 65% of what
our expectant cost is going
to be for each meal served.
In there, there's still the gap.
There's still, you know,
35 to 40% that we need
to figure out how to cover,
so we ask for a contribution
from all the recipients
for each meal we serve.
If they can help us out, great.
It really does mean a lot.
Most of them can't
contribute though.
We have fundraisers
that we put on.
We try to bring in
additional money that way.
We plead for outside
donation support.
And we apply for
additional grants.
- There are 5,000 Meals
on Wheels programs
in the United States.
You can't feed
people with no money.
So we have to raise
all this money to feed
the six million seniors
who are going hungry.
We think of ourselves as the
voice for hungry seniors.
They have nobody else
to talk for them.
We go to Capital Hill, and we
try to get the message across
that there are Americans
in this country
who are 60 years
of age and older,
who are going hungry, in this,
the richest nation on Earth.
- This one program helps them
stay alive and independent.
And it costs a heck of
a lot less to keep them
in their home with a once
a day delivery of food,
than it does to put them into
a skilled nursing facility.
And that's the
part that kills me.
- [Seth] Thank you very much.
- Okay, all right.
- [Victor] Thank you.
Great to see you again.
- And I appreciate
everything you've done.
- Thank you.
Patricia, hi, good afternoon.
It's Victor with
Marin Meals on Wheels.
It's about 3:40 right now.
I wanted to give you a call,
let you know I'm trying
to deliver your meals,
but there's no
answer at the door.
And same thing
happened on Tuesday.
Would you please
give us a call back,
let us know you're okay?
It's 415-507-4300.
And when you give us a call
back, please also let us know
when we can reschedule
your meal delivery for.
Thank you, again,
it's 415-507-4300.
You know, we'll
leave that message.
I train all my drivers to
leave a message like that,
or one that's at least similar.
And usually we'll go
back later on the day,
on our way back
towards the office.
Swing by if we hear from them.
If not, then we'll bring
them an extra meal tomorrow
or something like that.
But, every once in a while, the
person simply is not around.
About once a month or
so, it's not unusual
for us to have to call 9-1-1,
and get somebody to come out
for rescue emergency purposes.
It's all not uncommon for us
to call sheriff's department,
and ask them to provide a
wellness check of their own,
which they'll break
down a door to do so,
if they're concerned themselves.
- Several generations
ago, we were born, raised,
and we lived in that same
community with our parents,
grandparents, and
we never moved.
But now, with having fewer
children or no children,
and moving away, you know,
we're getting a society
that becomes
disjointed and alone.
But then whose
responsibility is it then
to look after older adults
that may be getting hungry,
that may need medical attention,
that may need transportation?
- Right here, actually.
I think it's his
ex-wife that called in.
This guy was, I guess
eating junk food.
- Yeah.
- Yeah?
- Alrighty, thank you.
There's no way I can work now.
You know, I've tried, and
I can't walk only so far.
As far as being older
and looking back,
there's a lot of things I
could've done differently.
But, it is something
that you just say,
"Well, it never will happen."
And then it will.
- While we're trying to do
the job of feeding people,
while we're trying to get out
the door and make sure that
meals are delivered, trying
to make sure that these people
are still alive, trying to
make sure that they're okay,
we have these other people
that come along and say,
"Tell me, what was the
temperature of your pork
"that you served last
week on Wednesday?"
We can do so much when we
don't have to do all this crap,
this binder-full
of shit like this.
That's what gets in my way
of getting my job done.
And it all just gets compiled
into a quarterly report
that's about that thick, based
on several different sheets
of information, to which I
have one person that comes
in the office, thumbs through
it for about 10 minutes,
and goes "Okay."
And then hands it back to me.
You mean to tell me that I
just spent countless hours
to put all that crap
together, so that you can look
through it in 10
minutes, then just say,
"Okay, it's all there."
I think removing some of
the pieces out of the puzzle
will help it streamline
the whole system.
Let the money flow more
freely towards the people
that are actually
providing those services.
Don't have people
stand in the way,
take money out of the
stream for themselves,
and then come back
to me and say,
"Would you please provide
me with some more details
about what it is that you do?"
You wanna know what
it is that I do?
Come out here and help
me serve the meals.
- We ask congressmen,
we ask congresswomen,
we ask senators,
go deliver a meal.
Go see what it's like.
Not as a photo op, don't
do it for a pretty picture.
Go see what it's like.
Go walk into the home of
one of your constituents
who is in need.
Go see what it's like.
- And that's just what we did.
We spent our second
day with Victor
driving all over Marin County
delivering over 65 meals.
And about two hours in, I
noticed that a job like this
requires a very special person,
because it just seemed
to be the same thing,
over and over and over
and over and over...
(intense mechanic music)
So what keeps you
from burning out here?
- Same thing that makes me show
up to work on time everyday.
If I don't come here,
somebody goes hungry.
(soft piano music)
- [Seth] But what
happened next proved to be
the biggest turning point
of this entire production,
because I met someone, who
not only changed my view
on senior hunger, but
would become my inspiration
for the remainder of the film.
- No strippers
are signed up yet,
but, hey, man, do you
wanna be in a movie?
- [Paul] Hell yeah!
- Hell yeah, he says.
Come on, let's go talk to Paul.
- Seth, are you gonna
take all day with this?
You know it's
almost two o'clock.
- [Seth] I know.
So, Paul, you've
had Victor coming by
and bringing you
food for a while now.
- [Paul] He's a pain in the ass.
- [Seth] How long has he
been bringing food to you?
- A long, long time.
- [Seth] Yeah?
- Damn!
Victor does it because he
has heart for this job.
I kid around, I do
a lot of things now,
but really down deep, he's
one of a kind for this job.
I don't BS about this stuff.
His organization
means a great deal
to a lot of people,
not only for me.
- I don't do this
because it's something
that improves my health.
I don't do this
because it's glamorous.
I do this because I really feel
we need to help each other.
If there's one thing
I want people to know,
it's that the challenges
I see everyday
will some day
catch up with them.
They're not expecting it.
But something is going
to affect their lives,
it's gonna change
their own existence.
- [Seth] Did you ever
think when you were younger
that you would be
in this position?
- No.
- [Seth] You seem like you
got a great disposition.
- Not always.
I'm a pain in the
neck sometimes.
Ask Victor, he'll tell you.
I have a disease called Von
Recklinghausen's disease.
Plus cancer and
plus fibromyositis,
which takes your muscle
and makes it into fiber.
I can't stand.
My legs just stick out.
Pain, I'm constantly in.
If it wasn't for Victor
and his supply of food,
would put quite a
bit of burden on me.
If you look behind you,
you'll see Feed the Children.
I'm not a rich man, but
every couple of months,
I can send them $10.
It's not a hell of a
lot, but it can feed,
what is it, 60 pounds
of food to a family.
Everybody deserves to be helped.
Maybe I don't have enough
to help every month,
but whenever I can, I
don't mind helping them.
I lived a pretty good life,
so I have no complaints.
- I don't know how to feel
about what I just saw.
I mean, here's a guy who...
Has had all kind of
affliction in his life.
And pain, and hurts
for everything.
He gives money to
Feed the Children.
It makes you think about
a lot of things, man,
when you meet a guy like Paul.
We just don't do
enough in this country.
- How many people go to a
restaurant and blow 12 bucks
on a stupid fucking
glass of wine?
And don't even think about--
- I do.
- And don't even think
about getting the glass
that's five bucks and
sending the seven bucks
to someone else
that really needs it
so they can even eat
dinner that night.
- I don't.
I mean, prior to making
this documentary,
I never thought about
anything like that.
I never realized how frivolous
the spending on
something like that,
like just a glass of
wine or an appetizer.
You get rid of that appetizer,
and there's money right there
that you've used
to feed somebody.
- Yeah, did you really need it?
No, not as much as some
of these other people did.
(country music)
- [Seth] While I was in Marin
County, I started thinking,
if this is happening in one
of the wealthiest places
in America, what's
happening in the poorest?
Because if I'm seeing the same
thing in the poorest place
in America as what I just
saw in one of the wealthiest,
then we may have a
much bigger problem
on our hands than I
initially thought.
- My name is Cleda Turner,
and I'm the director of
Owsley County Outreach.
The Owsley County Outreach
is basically a food
backpack program.
And we feed children
on the weekend.
We send easily-prepared meals
home in their food backpack,
and then we also do the food
bags for the senior citizens,
here in Owsley County that
we know that has a need,
and we try to help supply that.
A big population of
Owsley is senior citizens,
the majority of it is.
And there is definitely a
really need for those people.
- [Seth] As far as feeding them?
- Yeah, feeding them, and
other assistance also.
There is a commodity program
here in Owsley County
that the Lacefields, Susan
and Jerry Lacefield do,
and they give out commodities
and stuff to seniors,
but the money only
covers 98 seniors.
And then the other
seniors are just left.
There's nobody helping them.
So when we were called by
the Senior Citizens Center,
if we could pick up
some of these people,
that's when we reached
out and started.
And that branched
out, to finding out
there were shut-in's,
who couldn't get out
and get extra food.
So that's when we started
doing the in-home,
taking and delivering to them,
and just spending
time with them.
Well, we brought you
some fresh pork chops,
and some green beans,
I mean some soup beans,
and some fruit and stuff today.
- Some soup beans.
- And some pork chops,
and some fruit, okay?
- No, my baby, it's not cooked.
- Yeah, I thought you might
wanna cook them beans.
- [Seth] So what's
your name again?
- Frank Couch, C-O-U-C-H.
- [Seth] Yeah.
Frank, you've lived here in
Booneville all your life?
Yeah, how'd you lose your hands?
How long ago was that?
- 1985.
- 1985, wow!
And now you're in a position
where it's nice to have
somebody like Cleda come by
and bring some food for you?
She is a good person.
- Yeah.
- There is a drug problem
here in Owsley County,
and it is to do mostly
with prescription drugs.
And the parents are addicted.
A lot of these kids also
live with grandparents,
because parents are
either dead or in jail.
They are living on
$674 a month income,
and they're raising these two
or three extra grandchildren,
and they're trying to feed them.
And you've heard the expression
"Hanging by the tips
of your fingernails?"
- [Seth] Yeah.
- That's what these
seniors are doing,
they're hanging by the
tips of their fingernails.
- [Seth] Hi there, young lady.
- [Woman] How are you?
- [Seth] How are you?
- [Woman] All
right, how are you?
- [Seth] Doing well,
good to see you.
- [Cleda] I come back
to check on you again.
- I'm a little
better than I was.
- Oh, good, that
makes me feel better.
The most important part
of the job is to spend
that little time with the people
and let them know that you
care, that you're there,
and that they can sit and talk,
and visit with them
for a little bit.
- Is it hard to,
with what you've got,
the money that
you've got coming in,
to be able to afford
food all the time here?
- Yes, it sure is.
Because once you pay your
bills, you ain't got nothing.
- [Seth] I would assume,
though, you're paying rent?
- I pay rent, I've got a
water bill, an electric bill.
Can't afford insurance.
Of course, it'd be a
good thing if I could,
but, you know, I can't.
- [Seth] Can you imagine
what your life would be like
if it wasn't for the
help of the stuff
that you're getting from Cleda,
and the stuff you're
getting from Susie?
- I don't want to imagine,
because I know I
couldn't make it.
I mean, I'm just
plain, you know.
- That's a fact.
- I don't know what
people's going to do,
times is getting so hard.
- Of the four grandchildren
that you're raising right now,
are their parents around?
- [Woman] Somewhere.
- [Seth] Somewhere?
- But I don't know, they belong
to my daughter, so I don't know.
Well, one of them
belongs to Jamie.
- So you got three
of them here now?
- Now, but she's here too.
- Yeah, but I mean, the
three of them right now.
- Yeah.
- It's gotta be tough, right?
To raise three
additional mouths,
with what you're feeding
and what you're making?
- Sure it is.
(rain hitting the ground)
- There's a lot of grandparents
that are raising
their grandchildren.
And so there, again, that goes
into their limited resources
that they have for food.
So, I mean, I'm sure
money is very, very tight,
for many, many
families for food.
(knocking on door)
- [Seth] And you've
got your grandchildren
living with you now?
- I did have five of them.
They just moved out.
- [Seth] Okay, but
you still have one.
- Uh-huh.
Well, that's a grandson
and a great-grandson.
- [Seth] Oh, you
have a grandson?
Is it hard sometimes to
feed all the mouths in here?
- It was, it really was.
There was 12 of us here.
And it was, yeah.
We did a lot of cooking, though.
Wasn't much snacks,
it was cooking.
- When the kids come
to school every day,
they get breakfast and
lunch at school, so then
the grandparents would just
have to feed them at night.
Obviously then having to
feed them three meals a day,
when they're out of school
or during bad weather days,
I'm sure, has been very,
very hard on these families.
- [Seth] You know, one
guy said if I told you
that six million seniors
go hungry every day,
one of his responses was,
"Well, you know, I guess
that's their choice."
What would your response
be to that person who said,
"Well, I guess that's your
choice that you didn't eat."
- Go knock on that one door.
You'll see that that person
doesn't have a choice.
They're not making a choice
between eating and not eating.
They may be making a choice
between eating and
paying the rent.
They may be making a
choice between eating
and taking their medication.
It's not a choice.
- Before I went blind,
I volunteered a lot.
I worked, I volunteered
for Susie at the Food Bank
and the senior citizen building.
I helped at the Catholic church.
- Which is those one crackers
that we had Saturday?
We could use more services
of people bringing food in.
We used to have it with
some groups that came
to work on houses and
do the other ministries
that they do, and would bring
us lots of food items, too.
That's been cut down somewhat.
But we could certainly use
more resources to get food,
and help to get the food, too.
It's a big job to go
160 miles round trip,
and pack a trailer
and pack a truck,
and, you know, we could
certainly use any resource
that would come our way.
There is a problem with
people having a lot of pride
here in eastern
Kentucky, especially.
And they don't like to
come and ask for food.
We try to make it as pleasant
when someone comes
to the food bank.
We have a good time.
We joke with people, and
we pat them on the back,
and we hug them, and we try
to let them know that they are
a special person.
- Thank you, man.
- Pride is something that
we do within ourselves,
and sometimes we can't help
ourselves, we need help,
and that's what a lot
of our senior citizens,
the pride we stump out of them,
because they don't have the
funding to buy the food,
buy their medicine,
pay their rent,
and pay their utility bills.
So their food is one thing,
and they don't reach out
and holler, I'm hungry.
So, that's the pride, and we
want them to keep that pride.
So when we take a
bag of food to them,
we just talk to them, we don't
say, here's your free food.
We don't say stuff like that.
We say, how are you today?
No matter how hard it is
on them, they're happy.
They're good people,
and they make the best
of what they've got.
And that just makes
you wanna do more.
Organizations are
just not giving
any more to small programs.
And I'm going to start crying.
Let's stop right there.
- [Seth] It's okay to cry.
(Cleda laughs)
- I guess I really am
emotional about this program,
and about what we do.
I just wish more people would.
Just get out here and see it.
It doesn't take a lot of time.
- Well, we just left Booneville,
and been on the road
for about an hour now.
It's one of things, I guess
it's a little bittersweet.
You see some great things, you
see some really sad things.
But the people there,
friendliest, nicest,
nonjudgmental people I've
ever met in my entire life.
I sincerely hope I
make it back sometime.
Once I had confirmation
that senior hunger
is not an economic issue
but an American one,
it was time to start looking
into the way we
treat our seniors.
And there's no better
state in this country
more equipped to deal
with senior issues
than the Sunshine State.
So it was time to
head to Florida.
- I think that's very
important for seniors
to have social activities.
- I'm very independent, so.
Let's put it that way.
As long as I can do my art,
I can carry my own weight,
I wanna be that way.
- [Woman] These here,
everybody gets one, one each.
- [Seth] How important
is something like this,
for the seniors to be a
part of in coming here?
- Oh, I think it's
extremely important,
because of what it
allows them to do.
Attention, everyone.
Oh my, we are so happy
you all are here today.
It allows them to get out
of their homes each day.
They're guaranteed a hot meal.
Socializing, just meeting
with other people.
Forming relationships,
You know, it keeps them
from being depressed.
A lot of times when you're
sitting home as a senior,
you tend to concentrate
too much on your illnesses
and things of that nature.
- The socialization is as
important as the nutrition.
Being able to be around
people that are like you,
have a common interest,
a common bond.
- [Woman] Right, right!
(seniors cheering and laughing)
- [Seth] Very good, Jamie.
- Wait, wait, like
this, you open.
- Oh, well, come on now.
(seniors laughing)
- We're talking about
quality of life.
(seniors laughing)
- When you realize how many of
them are widows or widowers,
and a lot of them live
alone, and by that, I mean,
even though a lot of them
live with family members,
it's family members
who have other lives.
They go to work,
kids go to school.
And that person, that senior
person, is sitting there alone,
so this is something for them
to do and still feel involved.
- There are a lot of
community resources, services,
that are available
for older adults.
I mean, there's the
Meals on Wheels,
and there's nutrition sites,
and there's senior centers,
and there's councils on aging,
and there's the area agency
on aging that provides a lot
of services in communities
for older adults,
but a lot of times
it's that older adult
that doesn't realize
those services are available.
- All right, are we ready?
- [All] Yeah!
- Some of them
just come exercise.
Some come just to play Bingo,
because we have Bingo
and we give prizes.
We also have a very
active exercise group
across the hall that,
you heard of Zumba?
- [Seth] I have heard of Zumba.
- Well, we do Zumba now.
- [Seth] Really?
- Yes!
- In first place, we
have Rosebuds with nine.
Repeating, the repeat champs.
- When we were here earlier,
and I saw some of the folks
in your group here, and
to see everyone saying hi
to each other, everyone
waving at each other, smiling,
even though there was
this language barrier,
it seemed that there was this,
again, camaraderie of people.
- The friendship, we
all are human beings.
And we all come here
together, just like a family.
- We seniors need
our senior friends.
- We do Meals on Wheels.
We do neighborhood lunch,
AKA congregate meals.
We do case management,
we do guardianship.
We do home improvement.
We do homemaker services,
personal care services.
We've got about 170 employees
in the state of Florida,
and the funding, it's backwards.
There's more of a bias
on the funding site
for the institutional
nursing home side
than there is for the
community-based side.
And so what we're trying to
do is educate legislators,
you know, on that, to see
if we can rebalance some
of the budget, so that, if
you put a little bit more
on the prevention side,
in terms of, you know,
I'm not even talking about
wellness kinds of issues.
We're talking about
basic needs, as far as
making sure you have groceries,
your house is cleaned,
you know, you're clean,
as far as personal care.
You can get to the
doctor, you can socialize,
those kinds of things.
It makes a huge difference.
And the cost analysis related
to that, it's just phenomenal.
I mean, it's 10 times more
expensive to put somebody
in a nursing home as
it is to put somebody,
you know, to pay for
community-based care.
- Of course, government
always wanna do something
for the seniors, for the
kids, but it's always
missing that element, you know.
And Seniors First
was that element
that puts everything together.
(chanting in Spanish)
- This is like a second family,
because we get along together,
and we miss each other.
Like if I don't come
to for two days a week,
what happened?
- It's great to come over here.
I wish more people
came to visit them.
And you see them, immediately,
that smile from ear to ear,
coming up, and it
tells you, you know,
they're needing that attention.
They come here, because
they're looking to commingle,
to have some company, to
fill that gap that is empty
by families that no longer
pays attention to them.
So I think, it only takes
us a little bit of time.
We all owe it to them.
Look and see who you can
help who's next to you.
- [Seth] Tell me how
important this facility
and the lunch
program are in terms
of the social interaction
that the seniors get here.
- For some of them, it's
the only social interaction
that they have, and
this is their family,
this is their social network.
That's all they have.
I treat them as though
they were my family,
and I think that's what they
want, that's what they need.
A lot of them are alone.
There's no one else.
It's not only that they
appreciate me and like me,
I appreciate them, and
I care for them too.
So, that's my main thing.
I come in and I spend time
with people that I care about.
And that's important to me.
- How did you find
out about a place like
the senior center
here in Englewood?
(speaking in Spanish)
If a place like
this didn't exist,
what would you be
doing right now?
(salsa music)
(speaking in Spanish)
- [Translator] She
said she would be gone.
- [Seth] Really?
That's how much
this means to you?
Why do we have so much
ageism in this country?
Why are people not involved
in the lives of seniors?
- Same thing we do
to disabled people.
They don't fit the mold,
so we put them aside.
And that's terrible.
We don't look at the real
nature of human beings,
and it's because of the greed.
It's because of we get so
involved in the everyday,
wanting to do more to prosper,
but we forget those who
are next to us in a way.
- [Seth] After all
this talk about pushing
our seniors to the side,
treating them as
second-class citizens,
I wanted to find something that
actually celebrated seniors.
And it just so happened
that the Florida competition
of the Miss Senior
America Pageant
was taking place
while we were there.
You're Kim?
- [Kimberly] It's
Kimberly Moore.
- Kimberly Moore, you're the
reigning Ms. Senior America?
- That's correct.
- And you are
absolutely beautiful.
- Oh, thank you, Seth.
- [Seth] How old are you?
- I am 61, I'll be 62 in July.
- [Seth] Really?
- Now my mission
really is to go out
to senior communities
and to speak with people,
men as well as
women, about aging.
We can age gracefully
with elegance.
(audience applauds)
- My name is David Gilbert.
I'm Vice President of
the Miss Florida Pageant
for Miss America.
And I'm here judging
the Miss Florida
Senior America Pageant.
I think we have
a long way to go,
as far as really appreciating
our elderly population,
but I think we are headed
in the right direction.
And I think this type of
thing really gives some
of these ladies and their
husbands and their kids
and their friends a little
bit of an extra reason
to get up in the
morning and say,
"Listen, I have an
awful lot to offer.
"I may be retired, I
may be 60, 70, 80, 90,"
like one of them we have
in the pageant here,
but they have something to offer
and something that we
can all learn from.
So I totally support these.
I'm 100% for them.
(piano music)
- I have three children,
five grandchildren,
seven great-grandchildren.
I play the piano.
I play bridge three
times, four times a week.
- Is this answer as simple
as staying active
and socialization?
- That's it.
- I bet you, if you ask
anybody in this room,
in their mind, if
they feel 70 or over,
they're gonna say no.
They're gonna say no.
- [Seth] You ladies
are a classy bunch.
And it's a pleasure
for me to know you.
- [All] Thank you.
(audience applauds)
- [Seth] My last
question for you then is,
what do you tell my
generation and younger
about their attitudes
toward seniors.
How should we look at seniors?
How should we act
towards seniors?
What should we think?
- What you have to know
is we are a plethora
of experience and information.
Use it, take advantage of it.
We may not seem
like we know a lot,
but we do, and that's
where your source
of knowledge is gonna come from,
all of us who are in
the age of elegance.
- [Seth] You know
what, I'm a hugger.
I hope you are too.
Do you mind?
- You bet your boots!
Thank you so much!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I'm so excited.
- I'm so happy.
- Most of them are
waiting for that love,
for that attention, you know?
They feed from that.
And it only takes us
a little bit of time.
A little bit of time.
I sit down with some of them,
and I just speak to
them for a few seconds,
and to them, that's the world.
And they'll remember
you for life,
just because of that little bit
of time you spent with them.
And they're so much fun.
And sometimes I come over
and say, how you feel?
And some of them will
say, "I'm always happy."
Some of them will tell you,
well, I have this problem,
or this and that, but after
you're done talking to them,
they feel better,
and you can see it.
It's almost like
they get uplifted.
And that's great, that's great.
Plus, as a human
being, as a person,
you leave with such a
sense of satisfaction.
So I think that would be
great medicine for anybody.
(strong wind blowing)
- Hey, I'm well.
Can I have Hank, please?
Hi, Seth.
- Seth, nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
- This is a 60,000 square-foot
facility, yes, sir.
60,000 square feet.
- That's huge.
- Right, it is.
This facility will hold
about two million pounds
of food at any one time.
- [Seth] Two million pounds?
Does that food sit
around for a while?
- No, it turns every month.
- [Seth] Really?
- Last year, we distributed
24 million pounds of food.
We as a nation threw
away 96 billion pounds
of food last year.
- That's a number that I keep
hearing over and over again.
I have heard on a conservative
estimate, between 50 and 70.
- 50 and 70.
- But I have heard that
it's probably more likely
96 billion pounds
of food every year.
- If it's between 50 and 70,
that would be over 200 pounds
of food for every
man, woman, and child
in the United States.
Think about that.
- The thing to remember,
I always say this,
that there's enough
food in this country
to feed every man,
woman, and child.
We just need the
courage to do it.
And that's all it takes.
- [Seth] There's enough
that gets thrown away
that can feed every man,
woman, and child, too.
- That's right.
Yeah, that's right.
We have kind of crazy policies.
We're not thinking ahead, we're
not thinking strategically.
(machine humming)
- We are woefully low on
cooler and freezer space.
That is our biggest
bottleneck right now.
The thing we can't afford to do,
is when somebody calls and says,
"I've got a truckload of frozen
chicken, can you take it?"
I don't wanna say no.
- Have you had to say no?
- Oh, absolutely, we
have had to say no.
This is where food
gets staged to go out,
and this is where
loads of food come in.
So we got a truckload, and I
don't know who this is from.
Looks like we've got
a lot of watermelons.
I see a lot of watermelons.
All this other stuff is designed
to go somewhere on Monday.
- We've been frustrated
by how congressmen
and senators are not getting it.
That they just don't
understand the struggles
of vulnerable people and
disadvantaged older people.
That these are just statistics.
These aren't just numbers.
And when you cut a program
such as Meals on Wheels
or the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program,
you are going to be making
more people go hungry.
- [Seth] You're 65?
- [Hank] Yeah.
- [Seth] And so, you
are officially a senior.
- [Hank] I am.
- And yet you're CEO of
the Capital Area Food Bank.
- That's correct.
I was seven months
into my retirement.
The board asked
if I would step in
and do this on an interim basis.
But by the time I was here
for about four months,
working with 70 people
who were passionate
about the hunger issue,
seeing the face of
hunger every day
and talking to people who
were receiving this food,
you get so invested
in the process,
the board asked me to stay on.
When I was in the other world,
I was selling people on
buying my integrated circuits.
Here, I'm out selling
people on the fact
that hunger's unacceptable,
and we need to come together
to do something about it.
- [Seth] What, honestly, what
do you think the solution is?
- I think about this a lot.
I think that we have an
opportunity as a country
to come together and
reduce the amount of food
that's getting thrown away.
How do we do that?
I don't know.
I think the President
needs to appoint
a czar of food recovery,
or something like that.
I'm serious right now, okay?
Because, you know,
I was talking to a woman
out in Arizona here
a couple of months ago
and she was telling me
how much money they spend
to plow lettuce into the ground,
because they can't get trucks
to take this lettuce
out of Arizona.
We need to figure that out.
Nobody came to me to say,
"I'm gonna teach
you about hunger."
Just like nobody came to you
and said, "I'm gonna
teach you about hunger."
When you accepted
the assignment,
you went and learned
about it, right?
It's a tough question to answer,
how do you get people
to understand it?
Somehow, the message
has to get out here.
The three simple words
that we use around here
all the time is,
hunger is unacceptable.
It is just unacceptable.
We as a nation
have to figure out
how to not have hunger
in this country.
- In order to apply to get
a concealed handgun license,
it's one page.
In order to apply for
food stamps to get
food on your table,
it's 18 pages.
- You know, I have nothing wrong
against people
wanting to own a gun.
It's one of our rights.
- Yeah, absolutely.
- But something seems wrong
when you have 18 pages
to put food on your table
and one page to get a gun.
- [Claudia] Yeah.
- [Seth] A lot's
broken in this country.
- [Claudia] Quite a bit.
Quite a bit, yeah.
- How long do you think it'll
take for me to fill this out?
- Um, I think you could
sit there a good hour?
The biggest thing is,
seniors when they apply,
they on average get
anywhere from 16 dollars,
which is, I think,
probably the least
that we've heard them receive,
to, I think, I've heard 70
dollars being the highest.
Often what we hear is,
it's not worth the hassle.
- We need to get
past that stereotype,
and get these folks to go in
and actually offer
them some assistance
in helping them qualify,
and fill out the application.
Because even if it
is only 10 dollars,
for a lot of people, 10 dollars,
you know, that's enough for
them to eat for several days.
And so we need to convince them,
in whatever way we
need to do that,
that they need to go
in and apply for this.
Because this is not a giveaway.
This is something
that, you know,
they've been paying
into this system
as long as they've
been Americans,
and citizens in this country,
and they ought to be able
to have access to it.
- It is 7:45 in the morning
here in Austin, Texas.
We are actually heading
outside of Austin.
We're going to a
place called Lometa,
which is about two hours,
two and a half hours
outside of Austin,
working with the
Capital Area Food Bank.
We're going to the
First Baptist Church
where the food bank
takes all the food
and seniors come and pick it up,
and these are people who are
educators, miners, farmers,
and they are hungry
just like everyone else.
And it's gonna be
interesting to see
how this all comes together.
When I arrived in Lometa,
I was taken aback by a scene
that's all too familiar.
It's something we've
all been witness to
in our history books.
Throngs of people
waiting in bread lines
during the Great Depression.
And I think seeing something
like this begs the question.
How much progress have we
really made in 75 years,
where our seniors
have to wait in line
just to get food that will
probably last them about a week.
- [Roosevelt] The
test of our progress
is not whether we add more
to the abundance of
those who have much.
It is whether we provide enough
for those who have too little.
- [Seth] What was
on the menu today?
I saw oranges, onions, rice.
- [Man] Grapefruit, cabbage.
Pinto beans.
- [Seth] Spaghetti,
spaghetti sauce.
- Yeah.
- [Seth] Peaches and
applesauce, right?
- Green beans.
- [Seth] You've got seniors
who are not only coming here,
but they're going to the other
food distributions around.
- That's our information.
- [Seth] Because that may be
their only source of food.
- Well, it'll be one
of the sources of food.
This food won't
last them a week.
- Right.
I had learned that
you and your husband
not only come to the food
distribution here in Lometa,
but you go to some
of the others.
How many others do you go to?
- Two others.
- Two others?
- Yeah.
- [Seth] So the food
that you get here
and the food that you
get at the other places,
how long will that last you?
- Uh, usually about two weeks.
- [Seth] Two weeks?
- Or it might be a little more.
- And so after that food's gone,
then you can start
all over again
and go back to the other places.
Is money that tight for you
right now to be able to live?
- It's pretty tight.
We're both on...
- [Seth] Social Security?
- Social Security, yeah.
And that's it.
- What I think is driving a
lot of this, not all of this,
is the rising healthcare cost.
Seniors between 125% of
the poverty level and 200%,
so these are the seniors
that don't qualify
for most of the public
assistance programs,
they are spending 25%
of their incomes now
on out-of-pocket
healthcare costs.
- [Seth] 25?
- 25% of their total incomes
on out-of-pocket healthcare
costs, on average.
- [Seth] Did you think though,
when you were making
the good money
and you were saving for
retirement and all that,
that you would be in a position
to where you would need
to come to a food--
- [Woman] No, no.
- [Seth] You thought
you planned well?
- Yeah.
I never dreamed that I'd
be coming to a food bank.
- [Seth] Does that make
you a little upset,
that you're at a point
now where you've retired.
And now you have to work.
You can't enjoy your
retirement years
because you have to
work to try to keep
your head above water.
- At our age, nobody
wants to hire us,
because we are retired,
and we're over 65.
- In a small town like we are,
if somebody falls
and breaks their leg
and is gonna be
laid up for a while,
we as a community
will minister to them.
But you get in a big city,
then you don't even
know your neighbors.
Most poor people are givers.
They're willing to share.
If they have an apple,
they'll cut it in half
and give you part of it.
- Between the oranges,
grapefruit, onions and cabbage,
this is all that's left
that's been distributed,
and this stuff will
all go back now
to the Capital Area Food Bank
and be redistributed
out to other food banks
so that other people in
the area will get it.
So I think all in all,
being out here in Lometa,
it was a pretty successful day
with the stuff that
got distributed out,
and making sure
that at least today,
seniors aren't going hungry.
So it's a good day.
- It's really critical that
we really return to that idea
about neighbors
helping neighbors.
- [Seth] What do you
think that it's gonna take
in this country, in
the state of Michigan,
in the city of Detroit,
to re-evaluate the
resources and priorities
and say, we have to take
care of these people.
- A lot of people
are willing to help
if they knew what was going on.
Some people really do not know
what the plight of some
of our seniors are.
- [Seth] Does that make you
mad, or at least frustrated,
knowing that we
throw away somewhere
between 50 to 70 billion
pounds of food every year,
and we produce enough food
in this country every year
to feed the entire world,
but yet we have people
in the streets of Detroit
who are going hungry every day.
- It's frustrating, from
the standpoint that,
we ought to be able to
come up with a solution
to feed those who
are most vulnerable.
- Forgotten Harvest is
a food rescue operation.
We rescued over 23 million
pounds of food last year.
This is surplus.
This is perfectly good food.
This food would have gone
to waste in a landfill
otherwise, had we not gone
and rescued that food.
- [Seth] How would
it go to a landfill?
Is it something that they just,
after they've picked
whatever is on the farm?
- In some cases, yeah.
In some cases, for an
industrial supplier,
they may take it
directly to the landfill.
On the farms, some of the
farms that we rescue from,
this would be plowed
under, potentially.
- [Seth] Really?
- Because they couldn't use it.
Surplus, perhaps it
wasn't the right size.
Perhaps it was a little too
small, a little too big.
That's the food
that we can rescue
that's just as good as anything
you get in the grocery store.
When many people
think of food waste,
they're thinking of what
comes off the table.
But if it's not a perfect size,
our culture and our
country has taught
the buyers, our retail buyers,
customers within
their grocery store,
that it has to look perfect,
because if it doesn't look
perfect, it's not good.
It's just simply not true.
So if a cucumber isn't
exactly the right size,
or a tomato isn't
exactly the right shape,
they won't even bring it
from that industrial farm,
it'll be wasted before it
ever got to the store itself.
And it's not someone's fault,
it's basically that we are
such an efficient society.
We've learned how to produce it,
our agriculture process
is better than anything
else in the world.
But there's a lot
of waste with that.
- I just, I'm still...
I look at this,
and I eat yellow, red, orange,
and green peppers all the time,
and I cannot see a single thing
that would be wrong with this.
- There is absolutely nothing
wrong with this at all.
- [Seth] To warrant surplus.
- This probably
would have cost you
five bucks in the grocery store.
And this was surplus
food, an overproduction,
that can't go to market.
So we're able to take that
food, rescue that food.
This is gonna be out in
someone's home next week.
- [Seth] Yeah.
- Ready to go.
For a lot of seniors
this is good food.
Seniors love the produce,
know how to fix it,
and just need to get
their hands on it.
Basically, our day starts at
seven o'clock in the morning.
Our trucks go out,
go to grocery stores,
major entertainment
venues, pick up the food.
Most of that food, and
we pick up from dairies,
we pick up from
meat wholesalers,
anybody that's
merchandising, retailing food
for the most part.
We have over 455 food donors.
We pick that food
up, that afternoon,
we take that food to an
emergency food provider,
agencies across the
tri-county area,
we cover over
22,000 square miles,
we have about 200 agencies,
and we deliver that
food, that day, to them.
By the next day, or that
night, it's on someone's table.
- Food is a big issue
for many people,
but nutrition is an
even bigger issue.
Can I get three meals a day?
Is it always nutritious?
And yet it's the nutrition
that important because,
you know, I take what I get.
And there is a lot of
very good food in there,
but can I sit and say,
"Oh, well, gee, I need
more calcium today.
"I don't have any milk,
"I don't have any eggs,
I don't have any cheese.
"What am I going to do?"
If you actually
look you will find
that there are people
everywhere in North America
that are hungry,
that need the food
and aren't getting it.
And it's because we are no
longer community oriented.
We're all individual oriented.
We've lost the family value.
- Most black families
that I know are not tight.
Not close.
- [Seth] Really?
- Really.
You know, it's like everybody
fending for themselves.
You know, being separated.
I think it's my daughter's
religion and her beliefs
that make her see fit to
help take care of her mother.
- [Seth] A lot of seniors
are too proud to say,
"Hey, I need help!"
- [Carline] I can't understand
why people won't ask for help
when they need it.
You know, there's nothing
wrong with trying to do it,
but when you know you can't
and when you see
you can't, holler.
- [Seth] Squeaky wheel
gets the grease, right?
- Yes.
Yes, that's a true statement.
- We see the poverty changing.
It's not among the people
who've always been poor.
The new face of poverty
among the elderly
are the people who used
to be middle class.
They're the middle class
former working people
who had, you know,
they had it all.
They had the home,
they had the car,
they had kids who
went to college.
But now because
of the recession,
their retirement dreams have
been completely smashed.
Most people never thought they
would find themselves poor.
They never thought they
would be making daily choices
between food and medicine.
But you know what, they are.
They're making those
choices every day.
And they're choosing to
eat macaroni and cheese
instead of grilled chicken.
It's a very scary reality.
- Who does then step
up and take the lead
and say, "Well this
is my responsibility."
A lot of times we'll
say, well that's the...
That's the government's
or it's the Church's
or it's the fire
department's responsibility,
and we're not likely
to wanna get involved.
- We have Forgotten Harvest,
which is a great help to us.
That one's going in the cooler,
and the rest of these
are going in the freezer.
My name is Steve LaFraniere.
I've been with the Capuchin
Soup Kitchen for 10 years.
It provides a great service,
especially to this neighborhood.
- [Seth] Are you finding that
you're really getting help
because of the community, more
so than really anything else?
I mean, is there that sense?
- I would have to say yes.
Earthworks, we ask them to grow
a certain amount of
food for us each year,
and you know, we try to
project what our number are,
what we're gonna need.
We got fresh beets.
We got spinach, kale.
Obviously they harvested
a lot of beets yesterday,
because this wasn't here
when I left yesterday,
I leave at three o'clock.
So also in the
freezer here we have,
these are all tomatoes and
peppers from the garden
that we've already
harvested and cleaned.
So what I do is I freeze
them in bags like this,
and when I wanna
make soup or sauce,
I just pull a couple
bags out the day before.
- [Seth] If you didn't have
this fresh produce
from Earthworks,
what would the overall
cost to this kitchen be?
- Oh, it would affect our
food budget enormously,
because we try, on my menu,
I give them a vegetable
every day with their dinner
and I give them a salad
every day with their dinner.
So just the tomatoes alone,
the tomatoes and the
lettuce with the way
that the economy is,
and with the way that,
you know, like the
droughts and whatnot,
and the prices of food just
going up and up and up,
it would kill our food budget.
- Earthworks is an organic farm
located in the city of
Detroit on the east side.
We grow fresh fruit, organic
food for the soup kitchen.
Earthworks is actually a program
of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.
I grew up down the street
three blocks from here,
so this, again, is a
very personal work to me.
I learned at a very early age
how powerful food is
in helping build and sustain
meaningful and lasting
relationships in the community.
This is called our
garden of unity.
As you can see, some of
these four by four plots
are kind of roped off,
and some of them even
have some names in it.
- Yes, I was gonna say,
I see some of the names
around here of everybody.
- Yeah.
That's David's, Roxanne's,
Willy's is over there,
Dinah's is over here,
Darryl's is over here.
And so, you may see
some things growing here
that you don't see
growing in other places,
because a lot of what
we grow in our gardens
are dictated by what we
serve here in the kitchen
and what we can sell at market.
And so this is a place, this
is a very special place,
for guests of our soup kitchen.
Neighbors and community members
can grow their own food.
And so, they have a deeper
connection with the Earth
and the food that they're
putting inside their bodies.
A lot of the stuff that
we grow here is seasonal,
what you see right now.
So over the course of
the growing season,
you'll see a lot of
different things.
Everything from asparagus,
to Hubbard squash, which
we're harvesting right now.
Last year we grew close
to six to seven
thousand pounds of food.
- I think that we do
have a problem in America
of pushing away our
seniors, pushing them back.
I think that we're so
encapsulated with being young,
and so that, it's like
a curse if you grow old.
I think that seniors
should be allowed
to grow old gracefully and
continue in the lifestyles
that they're used to.
We should not push them
away in these facilities,
because they're like
walking encyclopedias.
They have all this
knowledge within them
that we're just ignoring.
- We really wanna make
sure that as we look
at where people
live as they age,
that they have that
choice, they have options,
and that they can find a
place that they can call home
that meets their
physical, emotional,
and their health needs.
- We have volunteer days
Wednesday through
Saturday from nine to 12.
And they sometimes come
with a notion that,
you know, they're coming to
give something of themselves,
but they often find
that they often receive
a lot more in return.
We don't lack the
resources in our community.
The resources are us, you know?
It's not these physical
or material things
that we often value
in today's society.
We are the champions
of our own destiny.
We have a direct effect on the
conditions that we live in.
And just awakening folks
to that is very powerful.
Again, this is just an
example of what you can do
if you put forth the effort.
- So this is where
the documentary
was supposed to end, but
something really cool happened
while we were
filming in Detroit.
I got a call from a
woman in San Francisco
who had heard about my journey,
and she wanted to know if
I'd be willing to come there
and be part of an expert
panel and share my story.
Expert I am not,
but someone who's willing
to share what I learned?
I'm just gonna be honest.
I never thought
about being a senior,
I never thought
about getting old,
I never thought about the
issues that seniors face,
because I thought that
if I haven't cared,
there have to be others
out there like me.
I talked about starting in LA,
and not knowing a damn
thing about senior hunger.
I briefly mentioned how
I wanted to get out of LA
and go to Marin County to
hang out with Victor Buick,
a man who still
inspires me to this day.
And of course I even
mentioned meeting Paul Fillow,
getting emotional, and how
that was a huge turning point
in this documentary.
I shared my memorable experience
of being in the poorest
place in America.
And the people of Booneville
are some of the best people
I've ever encountered.
Hell, it was in Booneville
where I had my ass grabbed
by an 80-year-old feisty senior,
the director of photography
and I went clogging,
and I even went to church.
(christian music)
I'm not saying I'm going
back to church anytime soon,
but it was a great
experience nonetheless.
And then my journey
took me to Orlando,
where I got to work
with one of the oldest
senior-centric organizations
in the country.
It was here that I really
started to understand
and respect our seniors.
I got to call Bingo,
learn how to properly
unfold a fan,
and I even got to rub elbows
with Miss Senior
America herself.
- Thank you, I
appreciate it so much.
- [Seth] But it wasn't until
I got to Austin and Detroit,
to where I fully
started to comprehend
the scope of the matter at hand.
Is it going to take more
60,000 square foot warehouses,
handling over two million
pounds of food per month
to feed our seniors?
How beneficial is it for someone
to fill out 18
pages of paperwork,
with the hopes that they
get enough money to live?
And why do we let
farms and farmers
plow under billions of
pounds of food per year?
Look, I don't have
all the answers,
nor do I even pretend to.
I don't think any of
us wanna be that senior
who's old and forgotten,
going hungry every day,
waiting for someone to give
a shit about their life.
I think it's gonna take more
than the people I met
during this journey
who are fighting for
seniors every single day.
I have to believe that
this is gonna happen.
Because we can come
together as a group,
as a society, and finally
say, enough is enough.
And I'm just here to say
that I'm living proof,
my life did a 180,
in how I went from not caring,
to now being an advocate.
So, what I hope
that this film does
is let people know that one
person can make a difference,
but together, we can do a
whole hell of a lot more, so...
(upbeat music)
- It's important for individuals
to understand the
plight of our seniors.
- There's nothing harder than
being a senior citizen, and...
You got aches and pains
and all that kind of stuff.
We have a saying in our church,
"Growing old isn't for wimps."
- The problem of
aging in America,
people call it a problem.
That's the problem.
It's not a problem to get older.
It's a problem if you don't.
Here in Washington we tend
to think in short cycles.
This budget cycle.
We need to start thinking
about the future,
and the future, and the future,
which is where I need to
engage the younger generation.
My program is your future.
- As challenging as
all of this work is,
and it is hard listening
to people's problems
and not always being
able to help them,
it's also uplifting
and exhilarating
when you're able to come in
and actually make a difference.
This field of working
in the field of aging,
is not only about
them, those old folks,
it's about us.
We are creating our own future,
and so we all have
a personal stake
in making sure that life
is better for older people,
because we want life
to be better for us
when it's our time.
- It might be you one day.
It might be your spouse, it
might be your best friend
who ends up there.
But if they need the program,
if they need to be fed,
if they need somebody to
bring their meals to them,
heck, it sure would be
nice to have that there,
to know that it's there.
We don't know yet
what's gonna happen.
There's a term we've heard
called the silver tsunami.
It's coming, and we're
gonna reach this point
where there's so
many people dependent
on this type of a program,
if we don't lay that foundation
today for what's to come,
but the time it's here, by
the time that demand is here,
no one's gonna be ready for it,
and there's gonna be
problems left and right.
- [Cleda] We have more
food in this country
than we can consume.
And we have got to find a
way so that organizations
can work together and companies
and food distribution folks
can work together to get
the excess food that we have
in this country and get it out.
I do think that hunger in
this country can be solved,
and will be solved if we
can all work together.
- My advice to the
younger generation is,
this is going to happen
to a lot of folks,
the way I'm looking at it.
They're gonna be hungry,
and you gotta make the right
decisions and save your money,
and do nice stuff for people,
because it comes back to you.
- [Seth] It sounds to me,
and I hate to oversimplify,
but it just seems like seniors
want somebody who cares.
They wanna know that somebody
still cares about them.
- And I do.
(upbeat music)
- I was dancing in my 50s,
and nobody knew I was 50.
- People struggle with
looking at that reality
and trying to figure
out what the solution is
and what they're gonna do
to be part of that solution.
- Everybody deserves
to be helped.
Maybe I don't have enough
to help every month,
but whenever I can, I
don't mind helping them.