Letters to the Editor

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HUNGER: Letter writer is out of touch

Letter by Helen McGovern, Lakewood on Sep. 26, 2011 at 10:00 am with 4 Comments »
September 26, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: “Hungry kids? TNT claim is ridiculous” (letter, 9-23).

The letter writer mentioned that it could not be true that there were hungry children in Pierce County as a result of the strike. She suggested that peanut butter and jelly “were not expensive.”

There are 795,000 residents in Pierce County. Through August, the 67 food banks in Pierce County that receive food from the Emergency Food Network have been visited by more than 833,000 clients.

With many schools having more than half of their students on free and reduced meals, school starting allows parents who rely on food banks and food stamps to breath a collective sigh of relief. They can take comfort knowing that their children will receive breakfast and lunch every school day.

They made it through a summer where they could only provide one meal a day. With the delay they again had to face the nightmare of not enough food.

Peanut butter is a luxury. EFN does not purchase it due to the cost. When you have to focus on stretching your dollars, you make hard choices.

The writer is blessed with a cupboard with peanut butter; we should all be working together to ensure that in our country this is not an exception. We can begin in Pierce County, start by donating peanut butter (or produce or cash) to your local food bank. A jar at a time we can make the difference in lives of families.

Let’s use this healthy source of protein and comfort as a symbol to show we all care.

(McGovern is executive director of Pierce County’s Emergency Food Network.)

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. stetsonwalker says:

    Peanut butter is a luxury. EFN does not purchase it due to the cost. When you have to focus on stretching your dollars, you make hard choices.

    Try the USDA, they donate peanut butter by the boxcar load!

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    Helen, go to any Dollar Tree and watch all the people buying candy with their food stamp cards. You’re the one out of touch.

    And peanut butter IS cheap. The small (15 oz) jar is about $3 (not on sale) and will make a good 8 to 10 sandwiches.

  3. alindasue says:

    “Peanut butter is a luxury. EFN does not purchase it due to the cost.”

    Back when our family went through a period of extreme low income, peanut butter and bread were two things we did have plenty of. We’d go down to the food bank every week or so and there was usually USDA peanut butter (and/or tuna) in our box of food. They had a huge bin of donated bread at the entrance that we could pick a couple loaves from. It was usually whole or mixed grain breads, but I preferred that anyhow. The point is that we had peanut butter sandwiches.

    itwasntmethistime, they usually have 15oz jars of peanut butter and a variety of jams at Dollar Tree. There’s no reason to spend $3 for it.

    I’m not minimizing the need for the free school lunch program. A variety of healthy foods is better than just peanut butter or bologna sandwiches that are what many low income families have to eat at home.

    That’s why I couldn’t understand the article about how peanut butter sandwiches were delivered to students during the strike. Unless those sandwiches were part of a larger sack lunch (as I hope they were), they really weren’t all that much help.

  4. pasmacker says:

    It is a major red flag when parents are neglecting to feed their children either through lack of resources or irresponsible behavior. There needs to be follow up to investigage the home environment to determine if it is safe and if the situation could benefit from classes or counseling for parenting, budgeting, or preparation of economical meals.

    Considering peanut butter too expensive is short sighted as it being a very rich source of nutrients, you get a big bang for your buck. There are ways to use peanut butter other than sandwichs. Ever hear of peanut butter soup? Ignorance and laziness is the cause of most of our problems and spreading money on it and then claiming problem solved is pointless.

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