Friday, November 21, 2014

Tis The Season - 2

Blessings Darlings!

Hunger is every less visible than most issues.  One in 6 Americans can't afford basic healthy food, especially fruits and vegetables.  (  Even when folks are on food stamps, virtually none get the 'full amount' (roughly $140 a month for an adult).  Many who are in need have no access to stores that sell food at a discount, due to not having cars, due to living in food deserts, due to long expensive bus trips to get to such stores, due to living in rural areas, etc.

Would you know if your neighbors are hungry?

Most of the cheap foods are very high in carbohydrates, even the 'healthy' ones such as rice and beans.  Which is a huge problem since the rates of diabetes among the needy are astronomical - and related ( 

Food banks, of course, are just as inaccessible, for the same reasons, as discount grocery stores are. And the food available at them is usually the same high-carbohydrate cheap foods noted earlier.  Fresh and frozen foods are usually not available at all.  Pasta, beans, rice - sure. Often canned tuna. Very rarely canned ham.  Oh, did I mention the rates of high blood pressure and kidney disease among those in need? ( 

Combine those facts with the lack of utilities (or total homelessness) noted in my previous blog. Cooking a pot of dried beans, when you have no electricity/gas, is ... an issue.  Cooking a pot roast, even if you could grab a reduced price one, is a huge issue.  So, sure, people are going to use their food stamps/scant cash to buy foods that don't need to be cooked or refrigerated.  Lunch meat to be eaten that day.  A quart of milk to have on cold cereal, rather than the far less expensive gallon of milk.  Fast food.  Etc.

Multi-levels problems.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tis the Season

Blessings Darlings!

Tis the Season ... to discuss hunger, homelessness, and related issues.

I live kinda rural, so homelessness is relatively hidden in my area.  You don't walk by folks sleeping on grates here, unlike when I hung out in DC.  Which is NOT NOT NOT to say that homelessness is not a problem here.  Many an overgrown, vine covered 'abandoned' house is being lived in here, it's just hard to know.  A roughly put together shelter of scrounged plywood, out in the woods, is going to be pretty invisible.

And certainly even when folks do have homes, many have no utilities.  You might never realized that your neighbor has had their electricity cut off a year or more ago. 

Even among my coworkers, being without running water isn't unusual.  Whether they live in a house that just never has had running water, or their well has gone dry, or the well has been contaminated (welcome to West Virginia, where mining waste is EVERYWHERE), or it has been cut off, it's reality.  Perhaps this is the most 'visible' thing in the area ... if you look for it.  The old people in line in front of you at the dollar store, getting all those paper plates and cups? They don't have water, they can't wash 'regular' stuff (they don't have garbage pick up, either, and will burn these after use).  The folks you see carrying jugs of water from the tap outside the Post Office?  Yes, them, too.

Keep your eyes open.

Frondly, Fern