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Let them eat cake

Dear Editor,

“Let them eat cake,” is what Marie Antoinette said about the starving Parisians in 1789.

While unlike late 18th century France America currently has not had cases of actual starvation, but it has, however, been shown that one in eight Americans reported they often didn’t have enough to eat.

According to The Guardian (11/25/20): “As many as 50 million Americans could experience hunger this year, including a quarter of all children.

For families with children, hunger is three times higher than in 2019, according to analysis by Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the non-partisan Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

It is outrageous that Americans don’t have enough to eat.

I have seen hunger poverty when I worked with a few other caring people, for over 20 years, to help the homeless in the San Francisco Bay area. It was beyond difficult to see the lost people tossed aside by a wealthy society, and contain your anger.

It seemed that no matter how much we pleaded, proposed, marched, even fought for financial equity and compassion, the powers to be were uninterested beyond a meager handout.

One should work as a chaperon for one night in a homeless shelter and focus on the eyes of a hungry child to understand the unfairness in our society.

Now, as states across the country contemplate new lockdowns to slow down the rampant spread and record COVID-19 hospitalizations, the unprecedented demand for food aid is on the rise.

The national government is failing (thanks to Mitch McConnell and his Republican cohorts) to step up to continue to provide economic assistance to America’s neediest, as many as 13 million people are at risk of losing the expanded benefits that keep them just beyond the grip of hunger and homelessness.

According to the New York Times, (11/26/20) “Food banks across the country are bracing for another surge in demand. If a federal moratorium on evictions is allowed to expire at the end of the year, millions of Americans will have to pay months of back rent — making them vulnerable to what housing advocates warn will be a wave of evictions,” (and more hunger).

Marie Antoinette’s sarcastic retort should have been directed at America’s 450 billionaires that saw their wealth increase by a trillion dollars during the pandemic.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville

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