What we don’t need is food drives or even donation bins. We need leaders who can take hard choices. There are people who truly need access to help, but there are thousands of people in this country who are suffering and are hungry, and those people also need help.
I have seen the hunger of my friends. I have seen hungry children munching potato chips, I have seen young children let go by hungry parents to stand in line for the school lunch system. There are people who are hungry — I have spoken to their families and heard their stories.
The food drives of the New York City Council are much needed, I applaud them, but we need hard choices. We need leadership that will not throw our money at poverty. We are taking money from what is desperately needed, like hospitals and retirement funds, and we’re using it to save a few people. That is not what our city is about, that is not what I want to see my city focused on.
If we want people to have access to help, we need to find the money to fund programs to keep people out of poverty. Because the outlying areas are bleeding out — I will go out there and talk to people and I will see a toll.
Now, I know people will read this and say I am blaming the poor, but let me tell you something: It is not just the poor who are suffering from food deserts — poor people are the ones who are suffering by not having access to healthy food. If we try to give food to people and they don’t have the money, they are not going to eat, they are not going to be able to support their families. Let’s give help and give it to people who are truly in need, but if people don’t have money for food, we need to give them clean, nutritious food.
Let’s look at the whole picture, we need choices and choices are hard.