Letter to the editor: Working but hungry

To the editor:

“So, you work at the Kwik Shop?” I said, making small talk while carrying her boxed groceries to her car.

“Yes,” she replied.

I added, “Whenever I shop there, I am always impressed with how clean the store is.”

As I placed her fresh vegetables and cans into the trunk, she said, “Thank you. I take pride in my work”

This is just a snippet of countless conversations I had with people that morning, coming to our local food bank, Just Food, picking up a loaf of bread, cereal or even diapers.

One day this summer — Tuesday ,July 23 — 297 families and individuals walked through Just Food’s doors, in need of life’s most basic sustenance.

According to director Liz Keever, 13,000 residents of Douglas County were served last year.

What strikes me is how many of Just Food’s clients hold down a job.

Our national political leaders tout the low employment rate as a sign of our healthy economy. And yet how many of these positions fail to provide for life’s most essential need, food on the table?

As a volunteer at our local food bank, I am meeting the people behind the statistics. Like this woman who works at Kwik Shop. And what stirs my heart is recognizing the obvious pride she takes in her work, and now I see how she swallows her pride and stands in line with other souls down on their luck, because worse than humiliation is a stomach growling from hunger.

Handing out free food is a humbling and anger-provoking experience. Why must anyone in our country have to beg for food?

Something to think about the next time you stop at a Kwik Shop for a quart of milk.

Peter Luckey,

Lawrence

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