The following is an open letter from local activist Chrissy Holt to County Executive Steuart Pittman. Holt and other activists were made award that hot meals that were not claimed by the end of daily meal distributions, were tossed in the garbage. Holt is part of a group spearheading an effort to make sure these meals are not thrown away, and instead, given to county residents.
Pittman responded that he had been told that there was no food waste and asked for more information about the situation. A broadcast of Arundel Patriot Live interview with distribution workers on April 22 can be seen here. In the interview, the food distributor mentions that they “have to throw away” unclaimed hot meals.
Below is Holt’s letter:
Dear County Executive Pittman,
Please work quickly with AACPS to stop throwing away hot food delivered in the daily food car line used to feed kids. Chances are parents and younger or older siblings are hungry too! Let’s give all the food away to them including the cold food in the car line. Please, let’s have nothing left over at the end of day. There is plenty of food and it needs to get to the hungry and needy.
Further, there are thousands of us furloughed workers to organize so we can deliver food to the families. AACPS has the addresses of children who need this food. We know the hot spot neighborhoods. So, please let’s stop making these essential working families stop work mid-day to drive and to get food. Let’s make it easier on our vulnerable families.
Why aren’t we laser-focused on who is hurting the most right now like our children?
Many of these families are likely traumatized after years, perhaps generations of fighting for their lives. Representatives from the AACO System should go house to house to help families get organized with food, rent, utilities, childcare, and unemployment. If families don’t have computers and internet for their AACO kids to do school work, then posting “all the details” on the internet expecting families to call and even write is unrealistic. After all, parents are working all day, using lunch break to drive and to pick up food for some of their kids, trying to feed younger siblings, keeping older kids out of trouble, going to food banks, working on homework, stressing about poor work conditions, worrying about healthcare, caring for the elderly, coping with low wages, and being exhausted by this life. Parents are not likely sitting down at the computer at night. Our children suffer as a result.
We need to do different things for different outcomes for families. Now is the time to be different and not traumatize another generation. Let’s care about each other every day especially our children.
A list of food resources in Anne Arundel County can be found on the County’s website here.
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