Volunteers build the Feed 'Em All community fridge outside of the boyhood house of Fred Hampton in Maywood last year. The public fridge, which offers free food for community members, is now the subject of a short film that will screen in Austin on Oct. 7. | File

According to the Chicago Health Atlas, only 55% of Austin residents report having easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. An upcoming film and food event seeks to address that challenge. 

Austin Eats, an initiative designed to expand access to fruits and vegetables and rewrite the narrative around food in Austin, and Austin Coming Together will screen two short documentaries that tell food stories on the West and South sides. The organizations are collaborating with the 

“As We Are Planted” and “Feed ‘Em All’ will screen on Friday, Oct. 7, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the By The Hand Club for Kids, 415 N. Laramie. Participants can also join the event virtually. 

“As We Are Planted” was directed and produced by Anna Lee Ackermann. The film is about two South Side organizations that are working to bring more food into their communities. 

“Feed ‘Em All,” directed by Helen Quinn-Pasin, exposes the issue of food insecurity on the West Side through grassroots efforts of Oak Park activist Anthony Clark’s community fridge movement. The community fridges have been planted in Chicago and the suburbs for residents who need fresh food that’s free. 

Clark has collaborated with various organizations on the initiative, including Black Panther Party Cubs Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. Last year, Clark and a group of volunteers built a Free Em All fridge outside of the boyhood home of slain Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton in Maywood. 

The Oct. 7 event “will focus on community-building by featuring discussions and activities celebrating food justice and food access, as well as healthy food demos from Chef Latricia and Vegan World Cafe,” event organizers explained in a recent statement. Nutritionists from Beyond Hunger, an Oak Park-based hunger relief nonprofit, will also be on hand. 

“By synergizing organizations already promoting healthier food choices through grocery access, culinary entrepreneurship, food education, community gardens, and urban farms, Austin Eats will recreate Austin’s food access ecosystem,” the event organizers stated. 

“Austin Eats has hosted bi-annual educational film screenings since 2021, successfully engaging hundreds in conversations about collectively addressing food insecurity in Austin.” 

To register for the free screening, click here