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Guardian UK: Land of the free, home of the hungry [View All]

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:41 PM
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Guardian UK: Land of the free, home of the hungry
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Land of the free, home of the hungry
Nowhere is the chasm between America's political class and its working poor more vast than in the demand to cut food stamps

Gary Younge
guardian.co.uk, Friday 9 December 2011


On Monday afternoon this week, Rachelle Grimmer went into a Department of Health and Human Services in Texas with her two children, Timothy, aged 10, and Ramie, aged 12, and asked for a new case worker who could assist her application for food stamps. She had first applied in July but had been told she hadn't provided enough information and, by most accounts, had been struggling to get by and get help since she moved from Ohio.

She was taken to a small room, where she pulled a gun, sparking a seven-hour standoff with police. Shortly before midnight, three shots were heard. Rachelle had shot both herself and her kids. Police rushed in to find the mother dead and Ramie and Timothy in critical condition. Earlier that morning, Ramie had posted a Facebook message, saying: "may die 2day". She actually hung on until Wednesday. Timothy's condition remains critical.

The tragic unravelling of this particular episode is hardly typical. But the desperation that underpins it is. For, in this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas (when many Americans are worrying about what overindulging will do to their waistline), a significant number is wracked with an entirely different concern: not having enough to eat.

This is no marginal group, no handful of unfortunates and ne'er-do-wells in a time of crisis. Indeed, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, food insecurity is a common, growing and enduring problem. According to Gallup polling, one in five Americans reported not having enough money to buy food in the past 12 months the highest level since the month Barack Obama was elected. Around the country, food banks are feeling the pinch of market forces: as poverty climbs, demand is rising and supply is falling as people who would have donated have less left to spare. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011...



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