In this month of Thanksgiving, UUCA is undertakinga BIG food sharing program ( think of 130 food boxes – a pile 10 ft. long x 4 ft. wide x 5ft high… BIG!!) This is a project for all and we want you to help! Details at https://promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/food-insecurity-1/
The food we collectwill go to families in the Bedford Pine neighborhood in the Old Fourth Ward. Very many of the Hope-Hill Elementary students UUCA members tutor live in this very poor neighborhood.
But, you may ask, WHO is hungry in Bedford Pine?
We talked to friends at Operation PEACE who live and work in the area and who know the families well…
“Bedford Pine isa federally subsidized housing project with 689 units and 1368 occupants. Bedford Pine covers 17 city blocks starting at Boulevard & Wabash Ave to Ponce De Leon Ave. From Parkway Dr & Wabash Ave to Ponce De Leon.
“EVERYONE who lives here is poor. 99% of the Bedford Pine families have income below $10,000.00 yearly, the Federal category of extreme poverty.
“Here is what a typical family faces in Bedford Pine Apartments:
“Megan Berry, who has been looking for employment since June of 2012, is a typical family in Bedford Pine. She has three children and receives $330.00 monthly in AFDC benefits. For her four-member family Megan also receives $668.00 in SNAP benefits (food stamps). Since she is actively looking for employment, $120.00 out of the $330.00 in AFDC benefits goes back to the government towards child care expenses. (AFDC – Aid to Families with Dependent Children)
“Because SNAP benefits were cut this month (Nov), the Berry family will get $36.00 less. That means four fewer meals for her and her three children, which of course, will result in little or no healthy food.
“Megan is typical. The majority of our residents receive food stamps. They are all people struggling to put healthy food on their tables,“ explained Edna Moffitt, director of Operation PEACE.
Food Insecurity. Defined as:The limited or uncertain availability of enough food, and nutritionally adequate foods for an active, healthy life. or “People who aren’t sure whether they’ll have food for dinner tonight.”
Being Food Insecure. It haunts about 20% of our neighbors in Atlanta. It haunts MOST of the people who live in Bedford Pine. It is a way of life for very many of the children who attend Hope-Hill school.
In the coming days, our PTC Food Insecurity posts will consider: Hunger 101- Why people in Bedford Pine are hungry. The Hows and Whys of SNAP. A Challenge to live a week on SNAP. Sources of food for food insecure people. What will we do to change it.
Please follow along, and please, let the subject of food insecurity be a topic of conversation with family and friends and colleagues around you!
Here is a link to a 5 minute PBS story that reveals the struggle to eat and live on minimum wage. It is excellent. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/july-dec13/minimumwage_11-04.html