Hunger in America, “The Day the Welfare Man Came”


“The Day the Welfare Man Came”

As if it happened yesterday I can see my Mother open the front door of our little house in West Tennessee for the Welfare Man. He followed her into the kitchen, his arms loaded with paper bags full of groceries. He sat them gently on the  table. The light in the room was dim as I quietly and with shame watched from the doorway. As an adult I can only imagine the shame & sadness my Mother must have felt.

My father was off on one of his sporadic “disappearances” and we were left with no money for food. I do not know at what point my Mother broke down and made that phone call for help, but she did and the Welfare Man consquently stood awkwardly in our little kitchen, arms full of groceries. She did what she had to do to feed us. All I wanted at that moment was to feel not hungry, not to be ashamed and not to be sad.

This is how millions of people in America feel every day who do not have the resources to feed themselves or their families.

There are so many things we who have resources can do to help others and to educate ourselves about hunger in America.

Click on this site:

to learn more about what you can do to help and to see a clip from the new film “A Place at the Table”.  You can find out from this site simply by entering your zip code after clicking on “Take Action”, events and needs in your area.  Write your senators & congressmen, local politicians & officials to let them know that you, as a voting citizen, care deeply about this issue.

We should all have a place at the table without an empty plate.

18 thoughts on “Hunger in America, “The Day the Welfare Man Came”

  1. Poignant and strong memories there Teresa. And a wonderful post – so true, that there should be no one with an empty plate or belly. But at the same time I do thank the fact that there is welfare (and organisations) to help those who for whatever reason are struggling.

  2. most of us lead charmed lives, never having to worry about where or how or when our next meal will be. thanks for sharing your story of hunger and aid. spreading the awareness, putting a face on hunger will help bring on the call to action.

  3. Poignant and well written. We’re lucky to have a welfare state but that doesn’t make it right that people have to rely on it. Helping the hungry with food is essential but so is tackling self esteem, motivation and skills training all of which can take a battering when expectations are low. Thanks for the reminder. GG

    1. You know Ann that I like so many others as a child needed help via my families unfortunate plight, but it was just a little stepping stone that enabled me to eventually take care of myself. That is what so many folks need just part of the time and in no way does it need to be a way of life. Thanks for your comments and caring.

    1. In reply to all, I think my point was that some folks need help some of the time, just a boost to get them over the hard places. Children need this more than anyone else. Our government even considering cutting programs that affect our collective children in a negative way is just wrong on so many levels.
      I think we often think that “hunger” and “need” applies to all those folks we do not personally know. I was one of those children who, for a time, needed help and it was there for me. It should be there for all children and parents who need our care.

  4. Hello Teresa, just came across your blog and I love Davidson County, Williamson County, Sumner County have spent time in your area! Lovely and hospitable. A friend and fellow blogger of mine http://www.Cooking with Mamma C has a section on her blog called Hunger; her posts amazing; if you find time to peruse. Regards from sunny Florida. Cheryl.

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