BREADLINES IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY NY USA: HOW THE OTHER HALF EATS.

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WPCNR OBSERVATIONS & COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. February 22, 2024:

I could not figure out what persons were lined up for at this location Wednesday morning.

Over 100 persons were lined up on the sidewalk  on this boulevard waiting for something.

When I left my appointment, I saw this scene was still there.

A truck from Feeding Westchester was unloading pallets of foodstuffs, one after the other, and persons were coming in to pick up bags of needed food.

With horror I realized this was a breadline.

At this time, 9:45 in the morning,  I counted 75 people: men, women, children in that line.

The temperature was 35 hard edge cold degrees.

UP CLOSE AND VERY PERSONAL HOW OFTEN DO THE POOR AND HUNGRY HAVE TO DO THIS? THEY ARE THE REFUGEES OF WESTCHESTER, CITIZENS NOT IMMIGRANTS BUT RESIDENTS OF THE COUNTY FOR THE MOST PART. 

You didn’t want to be out there for a short walk let alone 2 hours.

The only thing missing was trashcans with fires lit to warm hands.

If you are comfortable and have food and a home, you are not afflicted by the cold. If you have a job you probably are not afflicted by the cold

This breadline, and I imagine there are others like them at Feeding Westchester pickups all over the county are a disgrace.

They are a Westchester tragedy.

The county and county businesses have to look hard and do better.

I have never seen this before in my adult living in this county.

The non-profits of Westchester, most notably, Feeding Westchester are doing their best, but this scene should not be.

Those 100 people or who knows how many could get frostbite in this weather.

Hunger, breadlines in the open, lack of childcare, it is all being compounded in exponential misery in persons who are laid off, sick, and hungry all the time, and no matter they are not eating right, and they are tired all the time. Discipline slowly disappears daily, as hunger does not go away and despair intensifies, just deteriorating their lives.

If this is prevalent all over the county, the county must pay more attention to it. These people can’t pay for the high cost of food.

This was commented on just yesterday in an article in The New York Times business section about how food companies like Walmart, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Shake Shack are seeing less business in their snack products and burger businesses. The article says that overall inflation peaked at 9.1% and now is  3.1% the first of January.

The companies the article asked about pricing only included one grocery, Walmart. The others were softdrink and snack companies. Does this mean the poor subsist on soft drinks, sugar shakes and burgers? Those companies the article said are planning to raise prices this year 2.5% for Shake Shack,  and Walmart a $100 Billion dollar company increased sales 4.3%.

This tells me that the people on the county breadlines cannot afford supermarket prices.

Does this mean that Coke, Pepsi and the restaurant chains make up the diet of the poor?

What is missing from this report on food inflation, which in itself is quite revealing about the insatiable and downright cruel greed of big food, (raising food prices to make up their costs even though it is hurting people to do so), is surveys of supermarket chains, supply chains.

The other obvious but very often overlooked inflation analyses by inflation commentators is the compounding effect of price increases. Admittedly, I am no economist, but every price increase is cumulative.  Economists in rose-colored glasses and financial commentators, report gleefully inflation is down to 3% a year.

Please, the consumer is no fool.

We know the food is costing more and is not going down.

Nine percent inflation last year, now down to 3% a month. That means the cumulative inflation is 12% in 13 months. Three  percent increases a month just keep making things worse at the supermarket. Thee percent increases a month is 36% compounded in a year. All you need to know about economy measure is who is making money and who is not

This “Huzzah”  that the food companies are not going to raise prices as much by the business press as being a wonderful thing food companies are doing is simply business cheerleading.

The people on that breadline are not making money enough to go to the supermarket. Instead the softdrinks, the snacks,the shakes, the Big Macs are making the poor unhealthy.

Meantime, the root cause of hunger is not having jobs. Not having hiring months. Refusing to hire minorities, or letting immigrants take jobs while awaiting asylum judgments.

I also think that food distributions have to make distribution points inside.

Westchester winter has been a cruel cold in the 20s and mid-30s during the day. In summer the poor, the hungry, the sweating masses will be faced with sweltering, dehydrating heat.

Distribution points should be located at places to shelter the 100 or so coming for the Feeding Westchester distributions: The County Center, Urgent Care centers (which can check the waiters for symptoms and overall health), Gymnasiums in schools, warehouses.

Breadlines.

They remind me of just how close you and I can be to being just like those poor souls, if we have an accident, get fired, or companies keep making money at our expense and make it impossible to eat.

There are several women who come to my neighborhood on recycling days to collect discarded deposit return cans, that is how poor they are.

Breadlines..

In 2024.

This is America in the 1930s, not the 2020s.

The press should be asking those who would be leaders, how can we deal with poverty, hunger, killer drugs, medicare looting hospitals, usurus  banks, and robber barons

 

 

 

 

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