Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why Are There So Many Hungry and Homeless in America?

Every Thursday I serve food at the Karpos Meal for the Hungry and Homeless at St. Mary's Church in Painesville, Ohio. My contribution of time and effort are minimal and don't compare to the contributions of many of the others working on this meal--Kathy Philipps, Dan Phillipps, Kathy Flora, Jeffrey, Wayne, Chuck Hillier, Rose, Jan, Pam, Karen, Kennedy (Ken) Fitzsimmons, Joan-the-Great-Piemaker, Linda, Patrick, Jim, Bea, Debby, and many others. But at least I do something.

I am astonished at the number of hungry people (some of whom are homeless, even in the winter) in Painesville, Ohio. Right smack in the middle of the United States of America, the richest and most powerful large country in the history of the world. What is wrong with the way we organize our society that this could happen?

This past week I read an interesting article in The New Yorker by James P. Carroll on Pope Francis and his exhortations and efforts for the poor. Carroll mentioned a quote by a modern-day saint, Dom Helder Camara, who was an archbishop in Recife, Brazil. Helder Camara said,

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” 
― Hélder CâmaraDom Helder Camara: Essential Writings

Why do so many poor in America's breadbasket have no food or shelter?

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