Let's Put Some Food On People
We at your Recipe Hub are monsters who like to play in butter all day, but the payout is being able to share our meals. Few things make me happier than putting food inside of people, especially because they are hungry and even more so because they need it. With that in mind, and with Thanksgiving around the corner, Yr Wonkette wants to share some important information about food banks.
Politicians have tried very hard to eliminate poverty in the US by decreasing benefits or threatening to starve people (or hey - tell them to go fishing). Fixing a problem by making it worse is like curing a headache by asking your neighbor to beat your face in with a shovel. No, I can’t imagine why that doesn’t work either, and we still have a millions of people in this country without enough food to eat. Most of them work and they have children at home to feed.
About a year ago, I was at the grocery store and finished putting my haul on the conveyor belt. There was a woman in line ahead of me with a little girl who couldn’t have been more than six or seven. I noticed them/not noticed them in that way we do when live in cities and stand in lines. The woman pulled a card out of her purse to pay and the little girl grabbed her arm.
“Mommy, don’t use that card.” The woman ignored her in the way parents sometimes do in order to avoid going insane. “Please don’t use that card, it’s embarrassing.”
“Honey, I have to.”
“Mommy, someone is going to say something. Don't use it.”
The woman was using a Link card, a benefit card used by people in Illinois instead of food stamps. It looks just like a debit card. But you must also realize that this child, a kid in elementary school, was aware of that specific card. She knew it was different. Someone made her feel ashamed of it. At some point in her short life, this sweet little girl was taught that it was wrong to accept help for food, the very thing she needs to live and grow. It is times like this when I don’t know if I want to cry because I’m sad or angry.
I told my friends on Faceborg about it. We shared suggestions about helping people, but there were also friends of mine who were brave enough to talk about being on the receiving end of this equation, and how they have been made to feel bad about buying food. Not only by strangers in line, but also by cashiers. No one in need should ever feel this way about trying to eat, but they are made to.
There are things we can do to help. Immediately!
In some regions, mail carriers will collect food and distribute it to food banks and volunteer organizations. Find out if your local USPS is participating this weekend. Many supermarkets have donation bins set up near the checkout line, so let’s put some cans in there -- why not, so fun! Has your employer partnered with a food bank? If so, take time away from your horrible jerb and get paid to volunteer. Maybe you are into making personal deliveries? Find a food pantry in your town and drop by.
You have been noted for your snark. This finely tuned weapon is a reaction to the bottomless hell of hateful crap you witness or endure on a daily basis. So, you have a heart. Snark away but the jig is up and now everyone knows that your compassion outmatches the terribleness. Wonkette readers have been so very kind and supportive of this site, and we bet you can teach us a thing or two about pitching in.
Tell us how to help people and share suggestions -- we want your advice. Please share your stories about receiving help, too, because we want to know how to be better givers. This invitation is for readers and Wonkette comrades alike, and we will revisit this topic throughout the holiday season. With your help, we want to keep this wheel of ideas spinning past December and keep it rolling throughout 2015. Maybe, like Mr. Tom Joad, we can all be present in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready.
Little girls and boys should never feel bad about groceries. Their parents should not feel ashamed. Let’s feed some people.