Show me who's getting rich on food donations

Letter to the Editor
By Michelle Burch
Director of food pantries for the Hebron Outreach Center
Sun Chronicle , Jun 2 2007

In reference to a letter from Fred Glover ("Show me where US citizens are starving," May 29) about U.S. Rep. James McGovern's 'political spin' of eating on food stamps of $3 a day. I am the director of food pantries at Hebron Village Outreach Center here in Attleboro. While you are correct that the food stamp allowance is meant to supplement, I invite you to visit us here at the food pantry on a Thursday night and see all the people not able to make ends meet with that supplement, and still need to get extra help from food pantries. We may not have people that die of starvation, but I can tell you a good number of people, working and seniors, are having a tough time making ends meet.

Let me ask you a few questions. Have you tried to rent an apartment recently working on minimum wage? Have you had to pay your utilities, and gas for the car to get to your job, while only making a few hundred dollars a week or on a fixed income that doesn't go up when everything else does? We have seen an increase in clients every month and it doesn't seem to be getting any better for a lot of people.

Congressman McGovern is very concerned with hunger in the state of Massachusetts and I applaud his efforts to get the food stamp allowance raised. We help many people, but in this time of escalating living costs, increasing numbers of people are coming forward asking for assistance.