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At our weekly Kiwanis meeting yesterday the speaker was the director of our local food pantry. Everyone makes the assumption that the area's hispanic population is their main client. Not even close. They are a minority of the clientel. But we were all shocked to learn who the largest demographic of food pantry clients are.

They are widows over 65. Women who stayed home and raised their kids and did not have earnings of their own. When their husbands were alive they both received SS and were able to get by. Now they have only one check coming into the household and they can't stretch it far enough. Many are proud and embarassed to have to ask for help. The food pantry has given them the opportunity to help by serving as mentors for young wives/mothers, providing recipes other clients can use, etc.

I couldn't help but think of my own mother, now deceased. SS was 80% of her income. She knew how to manage money and she made it work and lived comfortably. But without the 20% she got from interst at a time when safe investments paid 6% or more she might have been one of those food pantry clients. With today's interest rates she'd have a tough time making it without help.

Sorry to insert politics into this but I also couldn't help but think "Mr. Romney, meet the 47%."
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