Plan to join local authors Rick Peyser and Bill Mares, members of the locally founded non-profit organization Food 4 Farmers, for a screening of the film “After the Harvest” at the Writers’ Barn on Falls Road in Shelburne on Monday evening, Jan. 7. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, a long-time supporter of Heifer International and the fight against world hunger, the free screening will commence at 7 pm.
The discussion following the film is meant to increase awareness that the next new thing to discover about coffee might not be in the coffee cup. Every year, around the world, small-scale coffee farmers and their families face months of seasonal hunger. In Central America, this period is known as los meses flacos, “the thin months,” a time of food scarcity when the price of beans and corn goes up and when income from the coffee harvest is depleted. Families make ends meet by eating less, eating cheaper foods, or borrowing funds and going into debt to purchase food–ensuring the cycle repeats itself.
Although seasonal hunger is a well-established phenomenon in coffee-growing communities, the problem is not as widely known among the world’s daily coffee drinkers and within parts of the coffee industry. To alert coffee drinkers and professionals about the extent of the problem and to generate industry support for food security initiatives in coffee-growing communities, the 20-minute documentary film “After the Harvest” was produced and funded by The Coffee Trust with a generous grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
In 2010, the Optic Nerve Productions crew traveled with Peyser from Mexico to Nicaragua to capture the stories of coffee farmers’ struggle with seasonal hunger and to bring the day-to-day challenges of the thin months to life in the voices of coffee farmers themselves.
“After the Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands” also shares stories of the development of creative grassroots initiatives to help eliminate this annual period of food insecurity.
Rick Peyser and Bill Mares are the co-authors of “Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,” published by Wind Ridge Books in Shelburne.
Please contact Lin@windridgepublishing.com or call 985-3091 to register, as space is limited.