Vicki Escarra on Huffington Post

December 1, 2011

President and CEO Vicki Escarra contributed to the Huffington Post her response to the negative commments from the piece that ran yesterday in the New York Times about increase free school lunch participants.

A Season of Giving? Apparently Not.

I must say that I was disappointed by many of the comments I read in response to yesterday’s NYTimes.com feature story about the dramatic rise in the number of children who qualify for free lunches through the National School Lunch Program.

The recession was a devastating event for millions of our friends, neighbors and even family members. People lost their jobs, their homes. Factories and mills closed in town after town, leaving no work and no income for communities that thrived on those businesses. The average American family is struggling to get by.

Most of us have had to tighten our belts a little. But for middle class families, that belt-tightening means barely being able to afford rent, fuel and, of course, food. But what surprised me the most by so many of those comments was the expectation that those families should also be without electricity, telephones, heat or air-conditioning, cars and even “running water [or] flush toilets.” They probably have refrigerators and bathtubs, too. Since when do such basics constitute a life of luxury?

The economic hardships of a nation are felt most by its people. It baffles me not only that some people cannot grasp that reality, but that they so quickly demonize people who are suffering due to economic circumstances beyond their control — especially at a time of year when our compassion and generosity is supposed to be heightened by the holiday spirit.

I applaud the NYTimes readers, who understand the plight of families hurt by the recession, for speaking up to counter uninformed opinions. Please consider sharing your voice to help Feeding America inform others about the reality of hunger in America.

To those who suggest that we should let the people hurt most by the recession — and their children — just fall into poverty, hunger and despair, I say “Bah! Humbug!”

Posted by Dan Michel on December 1, 2011 at 3:13 PM in Hunger in the News, Our Leaders
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i have always felt that this was my calling.to help the less fortunate.we attend a small church in new york named THE REFUGE(real small)but full of an abudance of love from the holy spirit and god.while we are very successful out of our pantry(josephs storehouse)i have been recieving this calling that a soup kitchen is really needed,and that this is my calling.what do you think?how would i get started with this?i am really excited,just dont know how to go about this.we have been on the other side with no place to go and nothing to eat,through gods grace we came out okay.it breaks my heart to hear anyone talk or comment like some of the ny times readers.i can only pray that god will open their eyes one day.thank you,regards,joe

Posted by joseph santiago | December 11, 2011 at 6:07 PM

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