Letters to the Editor 6/6/2003

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2003

Defeating world hunger

Dear Editor:

June 5, 2003 has been designated World Hunger Day. Of course those of us who lived through the Great Depression know what it is to suffer hunger.

They did have such things as soup lines and other lines for charitable aid but most all men of that day, especially the small farmers, were too proud to accept charity.

I remember when Franklin D. Roosevelt became president and opened up some lines of help that the farmers would accept. It was programs that helped them to help themselves such as the free garden seed. Programs that helped them learn the best ways of preserving foods for the winter and even better and more healthful ways of preparing meals with what they have.

There was one program in recent years in which the government guaranteed farmers a certain price for produce and brought it by which methods the government came into a lot of surplus foods. The hassle of lines, broken down fences from crowd pushing and all day standing proved too much for the elderly and disabled and some of the general population who needed it most. Many were still too proud to stand among those awaiting `handoutsˆ to get the commodities.

There is something new in Covington, Butler, Conecuh and parts of Escambia Counties. It is known as Life Enrichment Center and has moved from a daily care and nutrition center to a larger outreach program that has a lot of people buzzing with the good news. Mrs. Mamye Wilson has her outreach program in full swing as a Faith in Action Program which is with the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and basically a health program similar to the Red Cross.

The program uses volunteers. She has been lucky to find people willing to do volunteer work but needs more. The volunteers can work at whatever they desire most, from running errands for homebound or elderly or disabled and visits to just sit and talk with them o telephone visits, office work, packing food boxes on certain `give awayˆ days. They call people to just drive by and pick up their boxes and some boxes are even delivered. I understand one volunteer delivered 21 boxes to the homes on the list.

These are highly nutritious items. Not your usual candies and cereals. In general says Mamye, it is a program where volunteers and the recipient come together in a dignified way in a program thatis new and needs are met.

For more information call 334-374-2285.

Ruth Hester,