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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food Lines in America for the Middleclass

Riding my bike back today from the attic and I see a line of people outside a church. In Oak Park it is not uncommon to see demonstrators. And so I wheeled off and cu t down the sidewalk and pulled across the people in front of this church. The first thing I noticed was  they were a mix of black and white people, professional and blue collar. I thought this must be either a demonstration or a job fair or something that would get this cross section of people to come together. Then I saw the sign: FOOD PANTRY. These people had not come to demonstrate or get a job, these people had come to get a meal.

Here in the year 2011 in an upscale neighborhood of Oak Park Illinois there are people lined up to get a meal because they have no where else to go. And so I sat on my bike and stared at them and I tried to get some comfort from the thought they must be poor people. But they didn't look poor. They had on nice clothes and coats and high heels and one guy had a tie on and one woman had a nice dress and several men looked like they could be businessmen. They looked decidedly, middleclass.

And that is what really shocked me. These people looked like me. They looked like people one check away from missing a mortgage or a credit card bill. One check away from a car breaking down or having a furnace malfunction or any of those things that wipe people out who are just hanging on. And here we are in this huge fiscal battle with people talking about cutting out the social programs in this country. They really should come to Oak Park and see these people. Because these are not welfare queens or deadbeats or people who are living off the system. These are people that are hungry in the land of the free and the home of the brave. These are middleclass people who just want a meal.

http://www.billhazelgrove.com/
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Books by William Hazelgrove