Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Home, sweet car ::: “People feel so powerless, that there’s nothing they can do about food prices or gas prices or any of these things.” ~ Victoria Langling, founder and director of Woodstock’s Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and advisor to the Hudson Valley Food Bank.

Radio talk-show host Michael Savage mentioned something the other day - not his exact words here, but, close: "how come if the economy is so bad I see so many people eating in restaurants" ? - Indeed, Mr. Savage, I've noticed that too... from the Chinese take-outs to Mr. Subb to McDonald's to the more "upper Crust" establishments - people are there - people of every walk of life, class and colour... but then again, as I saw so eloquently expressed elsewhere, "we do gotta eat."

Having written that: "American optimism about finding a quality job rose substantially in March, with 19 percent of those surveyed saying this is a “good time” to find employment, according to a survey released Friday." [Politico]

But there are pockets of sparse poverty - and folks who aren't working - or eating - some right here in New York's Hudson Valley. From The Woodstock Times ::: "Otia Lee, President of Phoenicia’s Helping Hands Food Pantry, tells the story of a little girl who refused to attend school because she was embarrassed by the growls from her empty stomach. A town worker in Olive recounts how the requests from families for the town’s annual Adopt-a-Family Christmas Tree event have changed over the past few years, from games and toys to necessities such as winter coats, shoes and mittens.

Thurman Greco, of Woodstock’s Good Neighbor Food Pantry, notes that there are homeless people who spend their nights in an unheated bathroom at the Woodstock Town Hall, on the back porches of Tinker St. businesses and in tents in the woods."

The paper continues "Volunteers and staffers at local frontline organizations see no signs of recovery. Continuing high unemployment and sharply higher prices for food, gas and heating oil, combined with scarce affordable housing and skyrocketing medical costs, are making it difficult or impossible for more and more local residents to make ends meet. Not to mention the devastating impact of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee on homes and businesses in the area."

Yeah - and not to mention, with the weather trending toward "wacky" who knows what anomalies Mother Nature may spring upon innocent state residents in the months to come!

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