Moral Low Ground

Our Earth

D.C. Area Food Banks Overwhelmed by Poor, Hungry & Desperate

(Photo: George Campbell)

In the shadows of the White House and Capitol building, tens of thousands of people do not have enough to eat this Thanksgiving. There are over 75,000 people in Washington, DC alone who don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, or if they do it is thanks to the many local food banks and charities that reach out to the needy at this time of the year. But they’re swamped by unprecedented demand this year, and many are finding it difficult to keep up.

The scope of the crisis is truly alarming. Thousands of hungry people queue up in bread lines. Many are new to this; they were previously solidly middle class and are ashamed to count themselves among the legions of poor. Many have lost their jobs, their homes or both. Some were even recently affluent; having fallen upon hard times they’ve used up their savings and 401(K) accounts and now find themselves in the very unfamiliar role of handout recipient.

The counties surrounding the capital are some of the country’s wealthiest, but they’re not immune either. In Loundoun County, Virginia– the nation’s wealthiest by median income– thousands of families are seeking meals at food pantries. On this, our national day of plenty, there are plenty of folks who cannot even provide a meal for their family. Such is the current state of affairs in this, the richest country in the world.

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