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PHS & LLL Present – Meth Lunches: Food and Longing in an American City

Kim Foster, food critic

December 4, 2023 · 7:00 pm8:30 pm · Princeton High School Auditorium

Labyrinth Books; Princeton High School; Princeton Public Library; Princeton Food Project.

Labyrinth, Princeton High School, and partners present James Beard Award–winning author Kim Foster. Her book is a new portrait of hunger and humanity in America and has been woven into the curriculum of several classes at the high school this fall.

Food is a conduit for connection; we envision smiling families gathered around a table—eating, happy, content. But what happens when poverty, mental illness, homelessness, and addiction claim a seat at that table? In The Meth Lunches, Kim Foster peers behind the polished visions of perfectly curated dinners and charming families to reveal the complex reality when poverty and food intersect.

Whether it’s heirloom vegetables or a block of government cheese, food is both a basic necessity and a nuanced litmus test: what and how we eat reflects our communities, our cultures, and our place in the world. The Meth Lunches gives a glimpse into the lives of people living in Foster’s Las Vegas community—the grocery store cashier who feels safer surrounded by food after surviving a childhood of hunger; the inmate baking a birthday cake with coffee creamer and Sprite; the unhoused woman growing scallions in the slice of sunlight on her passenger seat.

The Meth Lunches reveals stories of difficulty intertwined with hope, of the insurmountable obstacles and fierce determination all playing out on the plates of ordinary Americans. It’s a bold invitation to pull up a chair and reconsider our responsibilities to the most vulnerable among us.

Kim Foster is a James Beard Award-winning food writer.

This event is co-presented by Labyrinth Books, the Princeton High School, and the Princeton Public Library and co-sponsored by the Princeton Food Project: A Humanities Council Magic Project. 

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