Monday, March 14, 2011


While many are battling over education reform and or union issues, that isn't the major issue of the day. It isn't Japan nor is it Libya. What we are facing is the potential of major starvation right here in our own state and county.

I had an occasion to visit our local food bank. ABC food bank located in Athol serves Athol, Bayview and Careywood, ergo, "ABC." I saw food boxes that were given out in better times and I saw what was available today. The volunteers were apologetic, as if it were their fault they couldn't give more. These dedicated volunteers are beside themselves with sadness as they get to hear every sad and or tragic story on a daily basis.

Many more, perhaps 200% or more are having trouble feeding their families. Most have children, some older people that can't help themselves. I urge all of you that can, donate selflessly to the food bank of your choice. The inventories are drawn down to the point it is feared the doors may close.

The state of Idaho social services are no better off. One such service, weatherization, is two years behind on home inspections and weather related repairs. Energy Assistance the same. One recipient last year received a check for $250. This year with an equal circumstance, he got $77.00.

We are teetering on the edge of an abyss that hasn't been seen since the 1930's. Helping one's neighbor is not any longer for others, it's for you as well. Please help. There are food banks in most of our areas. A major distribution point is in the industrial park at Coeur d'Alene. Athol can be reached through the city hall at 208-683-2101. If you live too far away to deliver food, please send them a check.


Anonymous said...

I've seen too many people in the area spending their cash on drugs and alcohol, and getting their food at the Athol food bank. This is a large part of the problem.

Sad to see kids go hungry because of some self serving adults.

How can this be stopped?

Bay Views said...

The above concerned citizen is right, but the key is how do you stop this. It cost, last time I checked about $40 per test to screen people for drugs. Something the food banks do not have the wherewithal to do. Then what we are faced with is how do we justify not helping families that we have no reason to believe are guilty of the abuse mentioned. Some people in our community have taken upon themselves the right to condemn by rumor and innuendo. Not exactly a scientific method, and destructive to the innocent. This, though is a conversation that must take place and an answer sought. Perhaps the state could require a urine test before benefits are awarded, but then in families where there are guilty and innocent living together, they would obviously front the drug free to represent the family. We cannot justify punishing the children of these familes, even if the parents are guilty. The only alternative in that case would be to place the children in foster care, a daunting task. One that makes as many mistakes as the rumor mills do. Given a choice, I prefer to error on the side of generosity.

Anonymous said...

While I agree this is an issue, I can not help but wonder what happened to the concept that is the basis for this country, one is supposed to be innocent until found guilty.


Anonymous said...

What happened to the free enterprise system being the solution. Isn't this a redistribution of wealth?

Food banks sound like socialism to me.

Begging on the streets builds character. Homelessness makes people appreciate freedom. Let them burn flags to stay warm.

Live free or die. Social darwinism rules. The rich are better cause they have money.

Bay Views said...

I think ... I hope, that the above comment was made in jest. If it were serious I would have to suggest that redistribution of wealth is when government takes it away from one person and gives it to another. Food banks are voluntary efforts to assist those in need and is very much a part of capitalism.