Sunday, January 28, 2007
We went to the food bank today.
My wife and I are both disabled with MS so were on a fixed income; we have three boys at home and sometimes the money just doesn’t stretch very far. As of Feb. 1 I'm losing my disability and for all practical purposes no more medical coverage for me either. (update-after 5 months I recieved medical coverage again. As of Nov. 07 my wife with MS who really needs medical coverage more than me has lost all of hers. Hopefully it will work out.) We’re hanging in there struggling to hold our heads above water but we’ve both learned to keep on treading (always tired). I’m just explaining a tad bit why we were there but what I really want to talk about is the food bank.
There are children and immigrants and poor of every stripe in large numbers. There are also large numbers of elderly and many disabled people some with walkers. There were four people with wheelchairs and several with walkers on one visit there. I see little excuse in our society for any of those groups to be here. None of these people would be able to make it without the food bank.
The safety net is full of holes and requires better stewardship from our nation’s leaders. I suppose the best net menders have always been Democrats. The country needs quite a few more in the Senate and executive branch to begin that mending job. Places like this little food bank of ours is a nice emergency net below the moth eaten safety net. But they in no way are able to meet the many needs of those on the bottom.
To be honest I wouldn’t mind if places that were run this well received some federal funding. Conservatives believe that families and churches should be the sole suppliers of aid to those in need and never the government. They just want to pretend to help people on the cheap and funnel tax dollars to their religious base.
We have a relatively well off parish but it would be an undo hardship on it just to take care of our disabled family. Our shots just for MS alone are $2500 a month. It would be quite a bit once you begin to take into account the rest of our medical care along with food and housing for our family. We’re just one family brought low by illness. We had disability insurance with the HMO but they made a determination that MS was not debilitating and it gets better. I wonder which party made it easier for HMO’s to screw their policy holders. (Republican)
We work best when we pitch in as a nation to solve these problems together. That way the areas of our nation of large areas of poverty are able to be helped. The radical conservative way would only mean a lot sicker under nourished people many of whom will end up on the street. I suppose the conservatives would just end up passing laws to outlaw the poor homeless then put them in a jail-type setting so they are no longer visible. If they are not visible they will be able to claim success. Remember the truth doesn’t matter to this current bunch of conservatives. All that matters is creating a perception of success to placate their supporters and those under their thumb.
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
President Bush, May 24, 2005
We can do much better as a society in taking care of the most vulnerable among us. It’s a sinful crime the way the conservative Republican right would have the poor, sick and disabled of this nation treated. They are in dire straights and its getting worse. Katrina highlighted their hypocrisy for the entire world to see. It’s shameful.
Very good information can be found about Spokane's hungry from,
Second Harvest Inland Northwest
In cooperation with Network this was an email I sent to my own conservative Rep. Cathy McMorris ®. I added other words similar to what I wrote above and explained how much these Republican votes attacking the poor are going to hurt the people of her own district. People she is supposed to represent and care about.
As a constituent and a member of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, I urge you to cosponsor the Hunger-Free Communities Act of 2005 (H.R. 2717).
The bill calls upon Congress to:• end hunger by 2015;• give adequate funding to nutrition programs; and• preserve the entitlement nature of food programs which support children and vulnerable adults.
In this land of excess, we have a particular responsibility to provide for all of our “family” in this United States. Each night, 13 million children go to bed hungry, and 1 in 10 households either lives with, or is at risk of, hunger.
Jesus frequently fed the crowds who came to listen to him. And, He called on us to feed those in need. The early Christian communities shared all in common, and made special efforts to be sure that the elderly and others in need received sufficient food. I ask you to respond to the call of Jesus, and to follow the example of the early communities.
Thank you for your work in Congress. I look forward to your response.
This was her response.
Thank you for contacting my office regarding H.R. 2717 the Hunger Free Communities Act of 2005. I appreciate hearing from you.H.R. 2717 was introduced by Representative Tom Osborne (R-NE) on May 26, 2005 and referred to the House Agriculture Committee. This legislation strives to reduce hunger in the United States by half by 2010.It is imperative that we strive to reduce hunger in America while also helping to address the needs worldwide. I support programs like America's Second Harvest Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust as a way to help create a hunger free America and reduce hunger in the world. Approximately four million low-income children under the age of 12 experience hunger each year and an additional 9.6 million are at risk in the United States. Since 1980, poverty worldwide has been reduced from 40% to 21%. We still have work to do both at home and overseas.Without a doubt, we must do better. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this important issue and will be sure to find ways I can offer my support.Thanks again for writing. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance.
Cathy McMorris Member of CongressCMC/cmpConfirmation # 1135502
Once again the Republican response seems to indicate that if charity cannot fill the bill then these people should just go ahead and starve and decrease the surplus population.
'So Goes America' -
Spokane has a pretty good food bank system thanks to the generosity of the local population and it is helping to keep people alive. But it’s not like this everywhere. Just across the state line in Idaho the food bank system is failing as I suspect it does in areas where the overall poverty rate is very high. The more people who must seek emergency help from the program the more stressed it becomes and the less likely it will be able to meet the minimum needs of the populace.
This is Networks description of the legislation that she would not cosponsor.
About This Legislation:5/26/2005--Introduced. Hunger-Free Communities Act of 2005 - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) Congress is committed to achieving domestic hunger goals and ending hunger by 2015; (2) Federal food and nutrition programs should receive adequate funding; and (3) the entitlement nature of the child and adult care food program, the food stamp program, the school breakfast and lunch programs, and the summer food service program should be preserved.
Directs: (1) the American Communities Survey to collect and submit food security information to the Secretary of Agriculture; and (2) the Secretary to conduct an annual study of hunger in the United States and develop recommendations on reducing domestic hunger.
Directs the Secretary to make: (1) hunger-free communities collaborative grants to eligible public food program service providers or nonprofit organizations; (2) hunger-free communities infrastructure grants to eligible emergency feeding organizations; and (3) hunger-free communities training and technical assistance grants to eligible national or regional nonprofit organizations. (States that such grants' Federal share shall not exceed 80 percent.)