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Hunger is not a game

The highly anticipated movie, "The Hunger Games," is encouraging teens to think about the issue of hunger in the Ozarks.

March 22, 2012|Reporter: Lauren Matter, Photographer: Brandon Foster | lmatter@kspr.com, bfoster@kspr.com

The movie hype surrounding "The Hunger Games" is starting important conversations regarding hunger with our younger generations.

Fans are set up and anxiously awaiting "The Hunger Games."

"We've had our tickets for 2 months," exclaims fan Kourtney David.

"I'm very excited," says Krista Smith.

The movie, based on the first book of Suzanne Collins three part series, is set in a bleak future where everyone is hungry and kids need to fight to the death.

But the movie is also teaching younger generations, hunger is not a game.

"The topic of hunger in this country is a hidden topic and people don't usually talk about it," says Bart Brown with the Ozarks Food Harvest.

Brown says "The Hunger Games" is encouraging people, specifically teens, to start talking about hunger.

"We don't like to think there are so many kids hungry in our area but the fact is there are," Brown explains.

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The food donated to the Food Harvest stays in southwest Missouri, an area that needs every donation it can get.

"We have the 5th highest food insecurity rate among children in the country," states Brown.

The hype is also encouraging more young adults to read.

"We saw a lot of kids coming in wanting to talk about the book to our librarians, and wanting to find books like them," says Nancee Dahms-Stinson with the Springfield-Greene County Library.

Dahms-Stinson says "The Hunger Games" series has grabbed kids who usually don't like to read and entices them to become a book worm.

"It's wonderful when you can have a book series that applies to so many people and you have them coming to you and coming to the library," Dahms-Stinson says.

Now that the movie is out, librarians expect an uptick in the number of people who will check out the book.

But you'll have to be patient.

One of the copies has 100 people on the waiting list.

Nationally, Feeding America is partnering with Lionsgate, the makers of the film and encouraging everyone to donate.

The Ozarks Food Harvest will receive a portion of those donations.

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