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Category Archives: My Opinion


During this pandemic and now the western fires our Neer do well Congress has been working(?) on relief funding for job losses, healthcare and small business assistance. While millions of American voters are without employment due to business closings and restricted movement, I am wondering why Congress and the administration are still being paid. These idiots are not suffering food scarcity, lack of residency and healthcare but they are toying with the relief that is sorely needed because they are concerned about the deficit. The need now is to preserve the lives and well being of the voters at any cost. Once this pandemic is contained and people go back to work with a place tp live, the deficit will begin to correct. This correction will take years but people will be safe and healthy and therefore able to work and produce (example post WWII). It is a travesty that this Congress and administration are no more than high profile “snake oil salesmen” who if we as voters do not step up will continue their dishonest ways. We (voters) have an opportunity to begin a correction in November. No matter your party , we need to remove the current neer do wells in Congress and the Whitehouse so we can begin the repair process. it is well to remember that we the people are the term limits for Congress and the President. No amount of rhetoric and rally’s can justify keeping these poor performers in office.

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It is unfortunate that we have an administration whose sole claim to fame is disingenuousness and deceit. The drama that surrounds this administration is palpable yet so many American voters are enthralled with every issuance from the Titular head and the many minions that surround him. Is it possible that the followers are just unaware that most if not all actions from this administration will affect the entire nation now and later? This administration has had a revolving door policy as far as Cabinet members , department heads and even justice department members. This does not make for a cohesive national policy. This is proven by the fact that even now we have no national policy on a pandemic that has ravaged the economy and the health of millions. Now along with that is the idea that the post office is unsafe to use as a conveyance for our mail. It appears that this President first has no idea how to do the job and cannot be “coached” on how to do it. He has hired people who are totally unqualified to do their jobs but have them because they are “loyal” to him. His loyalty to the voters of America does not exist no matter the nattering’s that emerge from TOTUS and his minions. It is unfortunate that so many voters fail to see the failings of this administration and the long range effects it will have on ALL of us. Recently the head of the Justice department (our Attorney General) has taken up a personal case on the President’s behalf and we may be paying for it (kind of like Mexico paying for a wall)

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If you are paying attention , really paying attention you may have noticed that each event with TOTUS is a rally with attendees flouting the guidelines for COVID (masks, distancing and possibly hand hygiene). After these rally’s there is an upsurge of Covid cases. TOTUS never mentions these upsurges, is it possible that he place no importance on the health of his “base” or he doesn’t care? After months of an unresolved or properly addressed pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, the administration has done nothing more than tout “pie in the sky” cures much like the “snake oil salesman” of the early days of our country. It is incredible to me that so many seemingly intelligent people follow this uninformed leader. As an assortment of reports come in from numerous locations across the country especially areas that have suffered unrest, I am at once surprised and appalled at lack of knowledge potential voters have on the issues. I should say these voters seem to have one (1) issue rather than a wide view of all of the issues and how they affect them now and in the future. It seems that many people cannot see the long range effects of poor legislation since they think it can’t hurt them. A little gruesome thought: The followers of Jim Jones possibly thought the same thing when they drank the “koolaid”!

This Presidency has been and is one of the biggest cons to be perpetrated on the voters of this country. This is all being viewed by our allies with incredulity and our enemies with delight yet the voters (TOTUS supporters) can’t see the forest for the trees (which under this administration are in danger). The cure for bad government is an informed electorate and you do not have to be a legal scholar to know what the Constitution provides us as citizens but you do have a mind to recognize truth from fiction or at the least be willing to search for truth.

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It appears that TOTUS’s Christian Conservatives backers are not as upright as they purport to be, this article shows that the “real” Christians are not as self serving as TOTUS’s backers. MA

Jason Lemon  1 hr ago


Christian Group Launches New Effort to Convince Swing-State Believers That Their Faith Should Lead Them to Vote Against Trump

A Christian group has launched a new effort to convince fellow believers to not back President Donald Trump’s reelection in the key swing states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.Donald Trump et al. posing for the camera: Christian faith leaders pray over President Donald Trump during an 'Evangelicals for Trump' campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 3 in Miami, Florida© Joe Raedle/Getty Christian faith leaders pray over President Donald Trump during an ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 3 in Miami, Florida

Faithful America, which describes itself as the largest online community of grassroots Christians acting for social justice, announced the new effort and its largest-ever team expansion with four new organizers hired on Tuesday. In a press release emailed to Newsweek, the organization explained that it plans to “foster at least 11,000 deep, faith-based conversations about the moral values at stake in this election,” with a budget of $65,000.

Reverend Nathan Empsall, Faithful America’s campaigns director, explained in a statement emailed to Newsweek that this is the first time the organization has chosen to become directly involved in election activity.

“Donald Trump is not a normal president, which means that our approach to this election cannot be normal, either. We’re taking this new approach to relational organizing because our faith is deep, and our organizing must be deep too,” Empsall said.

Empsall explained that members of his organization believe Trump and Republicans have “distorted” the Gospel message of Christianity to serve a “hateful, right-wing agenda.” The reverend said the group’s message is that “people of faith can and should vote with love and hope, not hatred and discrimination.”

In Trump’s America, if you’re not a conservative white Christian, you’re not American. https://t.co/UA945hwlRV— Rev. Nathan Empsall (@NathanEmpsall) September 5, 2020

The Christian organizer pointed out that Trump has attacked “the faith of anyone who dares criticize him, claiming that Catholic Joe Biden will ‘hurt God,’ Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is a ‘crutch,’ and Catholic Nancy Pelosi doesn’t pray. Trump has also opposed the rights and security of Native Americans, Muslims and Jews.”

“This is not religious freedom, or even Christian freedom: It is a form of toxic Christian nationalism,” Empsall said.

Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are seen as key battlegrounds in the November election. Former Democratic President Barack Obama won all three states in 2008 and 2012 but they flipped red for Trump in 2016. If Democrats managed to maintain all the states former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and regained these three battleground states, that would push Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to victory in the Electoral College.

Polling conducted by Pew Research Center in June showed that Christians overall were about evenly split on whether they approve or disapprove of the job Trump has done as president. While 49 percent said they disapproved, another 49 percent said they approved.

But Trump’s support among white evangelical Christians, which has been seen as a key base of support since his election in 2016, remained at 72 percent. Just a quarter (25 percent) of white evangelicals disapproved of the president. However, the poll showed a decline in support from 2016, when 76 percent of white evangelicals said they voted for Trump.

The president has attempted to position himself to Christian voters as a defender of “religious freedom.” But his critics readily point out that he appears to only be concerned about the “religious freedom” of conservative Christians. Trump publicly called for banning Muslims from entering the U.S. during his previous presidential campaign. After taking office, he pushed through a ban on immigrants from multiple Muslim-majority countries—which critics saw as a watered-down version of his proposed Muslim ban.

The president has leaned on the support of evangelical Christian leaders to rally his base of conservative supporters. Prominent evangelical pastor Franklin Graham prayed in support of President Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in August. The evangelical leader has previously argued that Trump “defends the faith.”

But there has been a growing pushback from a minority of white evangelicals and many other Christians who see Trump and his policies as fundamentally opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Gospel message. Graham’s niece Jerusha Duford, who now describes herself as a “homeless evangelical,” joined the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project in August, aiming to convince other evangelicals like herself to vote for Biden over the incumbent Republican president.

“Ultimately, Christians don’t need a candidate who will protect us — we need a candidate who will protect the least of these. If we truly want to be faithful disciples, then we must love our neighbors in everything we do, including voting,” Empsall said. “That means working to reunite families at the border; stopping the virus that kills our neighbors; protecting the climate, health care, and democracy; and standing up to white supremacy.”

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A shadow of hunger looms over the United States. In the pandemic economy, nearly one in eight households doesn’t have enough to eat. The lockdown, with its epic lines at food banks, has revealed what was hidden in plain sight: that the struggle to make food last long enough, and to get food that’s healthful — what experts call ‘food insecurity’ — is a persistent one for millions of Americans.

AMERICA AT
HUNGER’S EDGE

Photographs by Brenda Ann KenneallySeptember 2, 2020

Beginning in May, Brenda Ann Kenneally set out across the country, from New York to California, to capture the routines of Americans who struggle to feed their families, piecing together various forms of food assistance, community support and ingenuity to make it from one month to the next.

Food insecurity is as much about the threat of deprivation as it is about deprivation itself: A food-insecure life means a life lived in fear of hunger, and the psychological toll that takes. Like many hardships, this burden falls disproportionately on Black and Hispanic families, who are almost twice as likely to experience food insecurity as white families.Troy, N.Y.May 9

Like so many who live at hunger’s edge, the members of the extended Stocklas family — whom Kenneally has photographed for years — gain and lose food stamps depending on fluctuating employment status in an unstable economy. They often have trouble stretching their funds to the end of the month, so they pool resources to provide family-style dinners for all.Tap to cycle through images

“Often we make a whole chicken and then just put a bunch of different sides with it,” Zakrzewski says.
Zakrzewski’s sister, Kayla Stocklas, 30, with her brother Jesse, 18. “We’re always pulling together to make meals happen,” Zakrzewsi says.
Joseph Stocklas-Campos, 6.

When Kandice Zakrzewski, 25, was no longer eligible for food stamps, she stopped buying Lactaid for her son, Matthew Ratleph, 2. “We had to give that up for him. And just say ‘You can’t drink milk.’ Or we have to water it down.”When Kandice Zakrzewski, 25, was no longer eligible for food stamps, she stopped buying Lactaid for her son, Matthew Ratleph, 2. “We had to give that up for him. And just say ‘You can’t drink milk.’ Or we have to water it down.”

Just days before Kenneally arrived, the governor closed schools statewide, creating a new source of stress for food-insecure families, which often rely on free school lunches to keep their school-age children fed. This made the family’s big collective meals all the more crucial. “Even if it’s just pitching in $10 when we don’t have food stamps,” Kandice Zakrzewski says, “we all pitch in.”Zakrzewski’s son Brayden Ratleph, 6.Zakrzewski’s son Brayden Ratleph, 6.Kayla Stocklas. “We just kind of get our food and just all do our own thing," Zakrzewski says.Kayla Stocklas. “We just kind of get our food and just all do our own thing,” Zakrzewski says.Gary, Ind.June 6

Late last year, Doris Hall, 63, moved back to Gary, her hometown, to look after her great-grandchildren — “so they don’t have to be in daycare,” she says. On weekends, she takes in as many as nine of the children — occasionally all 14 — so that their parents can work.Tap to cycle through images

Hall’s $194 in monthly food stamps usually runs out after a few weeks.
“I told them, ‘You’re not getting anything if you don’t eat the food here,’ ” Hall says.
Skyilla Tucker (standing), 7, and Kimani Lacy, 5, playing a restaurant game in Hall’s front yard.

Hall’s rules are strict: naptime in the afternoon, bedtime at 9 p.m. and most important, whatever she cooks, they must eat.Hall’s rules are strict: naptime in the afternoon, bedtime at 9 p.m. and most important, whatever she cooks, they must eat.

For lunch, it’s “microwaveable stuff,” like corndogs, hot dogs and chicken nuggets that Hall picks up at the nearby food bank. Dinners vary: spaghetti, chicken, soups, tacos. When she has a rare moment to eat alone, she makes her favorite meal for herself: greens and tacos.Some of Hall’s great-grandchildren waiting for lunch.Some of Hall’s great-grandchildren waiting for lunch.Armani and Kimani Lacy, 5. “I never liked cooking,” Hall says, “but now that I’ve been taking care of the grandkids, I stay in the kitchen.”Armani and Kimani Lacy, 5. “I never liked cooking,” Hall says, “but now that I’ve been taking care of the grandkids, I stay in the kitchen.”

In the face of deprivation, food-insecure families often seize any opportunity to get and store food when it’s available.In the middle of a food desert in Jackson, Miss., a family’s freezer holds as much as it can.In the middle of a food desert in Jackson, Miss., a family’s freezer holds as much as it can.Freezing milk in Erie, Pa., so nothing goes to waste.Freezing milk in Erie, Pa., so nothing goes to waste.In Tucson, Ariz., a “cheap soup” made on the stovetop.In Tucson, Ariz., a “cheap soup” made on the stovetop.In Gary, Ind., assembling a full meal from individual school-lunch portions of taco meat.In Gary, Ind., assembling a full meal from individual school-lunch portions of taco meat.Stockpiling supplies in Jackson, Miss.Stockpiling supplies in Jackson, Miss.School lunches, and the single-serving milk cartons they often contain, are a mainstay for food-insecure households, like this one in Gary, Ind.School lunches, and the single-serving milk cartons they often contain, are a mainstay for food-insecure households, like this one in Gary, Ind.

Kenneally arrived in Illinois in early June, soon after nationwide unemployment claims filed during the pandemic had topped 40 million.Cicero, Ill.June 8

In Cicero, just west of Chicago, Jennifer Villa, 29, was living in an apartment with a kitchen that needed plumbing repairs. She and her family were already struggling — a disability makes it hard for her to work — and the pandemic had meant less fresh food and even longer pantry lines.Tap to cycle through images

Sonia, 4, and Armani Rodriguez, 8, help workers bring in the food. “Because they know the kids, the Salvation Army by my house, they usually give me more extra food,” Villa says.
Troy, 6, and Sonia hold items from the box of food they received. There used to be more chicken, vegetables and fresh food, Villa says.
Sonia, Armani and Jennifer outside their home.
“It’s hard to keep them on the computer all day,” Villa says. “They want to get back to school.”

Temporarily without a working kitchen, Villa organized the food she received from food pantries in the alleyway outside her home.Temporarily without a working kitchen, Villa organized the food she received from food pantries in the alleyway outside her home.

Whenever food deliveries came, Villa’s kids would celebrate. “Oh, Mommy, we’re going to have food tonight,” they would tell her. “We’re not going to go to sleep with no food in our tummy.”Armani RodriguezArmani RodriguezSonia RodriguezSonia RodriguezSt. LouisJune 12

By June, the social upheavals following the killing of George Floyd created even more instability for some families. Kenneally visited Manausha Russ, 28, a few days after protests led to the closure of a nearby Family Dollar, where Russ used to get basics like milk, cereal and diapers. “The stores by my house were all looted,” she says.Tap to cycle through images

“The girls help me all the time with the cooking,” Russ says.
The daughters like their mother’s food, though they will complain sometimes. “Maybe we’ll do a veggie dish one day and they want meat, but I need to stretch our meat,” Russ says.
Damage and fires led to ongoing closures at stores near Russ’s apartment, which forced her to travel farther to get groceries.

From left, Aliza, 1, Nyla, 6, Amarri, 5, and Kadynce, 8, with their mother, Manausha Russ.From left, Aliza, 1, Nyla, 6, Amarri, 5, and Kadynce, 8, with their mother, Manausha Russ.

Russ lives with her four daughters on the west side of St. Louis. She receives about $635 per month in food stamps, but with the girls at home all day, and her partner, Lamarr, there too, it isn’t always sufficient. “Some days I feel like I have a lot,” she says, “and some days I feel like I don’t have enough.”The family moved into their current apartment about six months ago.The family moved into their current apartment about six months ago.Russ doesn’t have a dining table or chairs yet, so the girls eat on the floor.Russ doesn’t have a dining table or chairs yet, so the girls eat on the floor.MemphisJune 19

In so many places, Kenneally found food-insecure families were helping one another out despite their own hardship. Here, in a condominium complex on the city’s east side, a neighbor picked up free school lunches and distributed them to children in the building, including the Boughton sisters: Brooklyn, 4, on the far right, Chynna, 9, and Katie, 8, seen here with a neighbor’s toddler who has since moved away.

Most of the families Kenneally photographed had struggled to feed themselves adequately for years. But she also met families who had been thrown into food insecurity by the pandemic.

FACING
HUNGER
FOR THE
FIRST
TIMEText by Tim ArangoIn the Horsburgh household, trips to pick up donated food — a service the family had not needed for years, before Covid-19 — became a diversion for the children stuck at home.In the Horsburgh household, trips to pick up donated food — a service the family had not needed for years, before Covid-19 — became a diversion for the children stuck at home.Claire Hudson with her son. Hudson has begun bringing food to the homeless in Erie, Pa.Claire Hudson with her son. Hudson has begun bringing food to the homeless in Erie, Pa.

The federal government’s food-stamp program has been dramatically expanded to confront the economic devastation of the pandemic. But even that hasn’t been enough, as the ranks of the needy grow.Ciara Young (right) and family, Memphis. Young lost her job in the pandemic.Ciara Young (right) and family, Memphis. Young lost her job in the pandemic.

In long conversations around the country this August — at kitchen tables, in living rooms and sitting in cars in slow-moving food lines with rambunctious children in the back — Americans reflected on their new reality. The shame and embarrassment. The loss of choice in something as basic as what to eat. The worry over how to make sure their children get a healthy diet. The fear that their lives will never get back on track.Alexis Cazimero now drives around San Diego County with her younger children, seen here, distributing food to families like hers.Alexis Cazimero now drives around San Diego County with her younger children, seen here, distributing food to families like hers.

“Folks who had really good jobs and were able to pay their bills and never knew how to find us,” says Ephie Johnson, the president and chief executive of Neighborhood Christian Charities. “A lot of people had finally landed that job, were helping their family, and able to do a little better. And then this takes you out.”Read the Full EssayMinivans at the Food Pantry:
Meet America’s New Needy 
by Tim ArangoClara McMillin, 4, is just one of many American children whose families didn’t face food insecurity until the pandemic set in.Clara McMillin, 4, is just one of many American children whose families didn’t face food insecurity until the pandemic set in.

By late June, Kenneally had reached Mississippi, where the economic toll of Covid-19 was falling hard on some of America’s most chronically impoverished areas, where residents have lived under hunger’s shadow for years. The pandemic dropped the state’s labor participation rate to just 53 percent, the lowest in the nation.Patricia Luckett, 57, has no car, so she sometimes takes a 30-minute walk to get food from a local social services organization in Jackson, Miss.Patricia Luckett, 57, has no car, so she sometimes takes a 30-minute walk to get food from a local social services organization in Jackson, Miss.Luckett at home. “I’m a country girl,” she says. “I love to cook.”Luckett at home. “I’m a country girl,” she says. “I love to cook.”Karen Cotton, 40, and her sons Jayden Brooks (left), 8, and Adrian Brooks, 11, in Jackson, Miss.Karen Cotton, 40, and her sons Jayden Brooks (left), 8, and Adrian Brooks, 11, in Jackson, Miss.Adrian holds one of his favorite snacks. “It’s not filled with sugar, so I buy them in bulk,” Cotton says. “This is what I call a healthy snack.”Adrian holds one of his favorite snacks. “It’s not filled with sugar, so I buy them in bulk,” Cotton says. “This is what I call a healthy snack.”Deborah Sulton, 66, who has lived in Jackson all her life, has 25 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.Deborah Sulton, 66, who has lived in Jackson all her life, has 25 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.“The way I feed is, I cook like a cook for an army,” Sulton says.“The way I feed is, I cook like a cook for an army,” Sulton says.Aydin Sulton, 2, one of the many relatives Sulton helps support with her Social Security income and food stamps.Aydin Sulton, 2, one of the many relatives Sulton helps support with her Social Security income and food stamps.“I have fed a lot of people and a lot of kids in the community,” Sulton says. “Whatever I got, I will share it because I get my blessings back in return.”“I have fed a lot of people and a lot of kids in the community,” Sulton says. “Whatever I got, I will share it because I get my blessings back in return.”

Even before the pandemic, more than half of Mississippi’s seniors — 56 percent — experienced regular shortfalls in food. One in 4 Mississippians is now experiencing food insecurity, according to the nonprofit Feeding America.The kitchen of Helen O’Bryant and her daughter, Nita, in Greenwood, Miss.The kitchen of Helen O’Bryant and her daughter, Nita, in Greenwood, Miss.“We’re learning to enjoy life a little better,” says Helen, 72, sitting beside Nita, 45. “Cooking helps, it really does. It’s something I want to do for my daughter.”“We’re learning to enjoy life a little better,” says Helen, 72, sitting beside Nita, 45. “Cooking helps, it really does. It’s something I want to do for my daughter.”Thaddeus Whitehead, 41, with his children Angel, 7, and D’angelo, 8, in Greenwood, Miss.Thaddeus Whitehead, 41, with his children Angel, 7, and D’angelo, 8, in Greenwood, Miss.Whitehead says he spends about $150 on groceries every two weeks, plus he gets boxes of food from a nearby church.Whitehead says he spends about $150 on groceries every two weeks, plus he gets boxes of food from a nearby church.He also catches bream from a local lake. “I cook about 10, and I put the rest of them up in the freezer. Then when we need to eat them, I defrost them.”He also catches bream from a local lake. “I cook about 10, and I put the rest of them up in the freezer. Then when we need to eat them, I defrost them.”Jackson, Miss.June 30

The city of Jackson (population 164,000) is often classified as a “food desert” for its high rate of food insecurity and the scarcity of well-stocked stores. Deidre Lyons lives there with her three kids, sister, niece and father. Lyons, 28, receives $524 a month in food stamps, but without access to a car, she can’t easily get to a grocery store to use them.Tap to cycle through images

Daniya, 3.
Janiya, 9, the daughter of Lyons’s older sister, Janell.
Lyons shopping at Grocery Depot on the Fourth of July for the family barbecue that afternoon.
Discounted pork loin chops from Grocery Depot.
Volunteers for Stewpot, a local nonprofit, deliver cartons of juice and milk to the Lyons family. This day’s delivery included pizza.
Lyon’s son Jaheim on the Fourth of July.

Lyons’s daughter Tianna, 1.Lyons’s daughter Tianna, 1.

“My kids, they love to eat,” says Lyons, whose cousin will occasionally drive her to the grocery store when she isn’t caring for her own children. “My kids eat whatever we cook because they aren’t picky eaters. I’m hoping they stay like that.”Janiya in late June outside Robinson Food Mart.Janiya in late June outside Robinson Food Mart.Jaheim buying a corndog at the Dude With the Food, a convenience store within walking distance of home.Jaheim buying a corndog at the Dude With the Food, a convenience store within walking distance of home.

The causes of chronic food insecurity are many: unemployment; low wages; unaffordable or unstable housing; rising medical costs; unreliable transportation.

HOW
HUNGER
PERSISTS
IN
AMERICAText by Adrian Nicole LeBlancAt a homeless shelter in Menands, N.Y., in early spring.At a homeless shelter in Menands, N.Y., in early spring.

Treating hunger as a temporary emergency, instead of a symptom of systemic problems, has always informed the American response to it — and as a result government programs have been designed to alleviate each peak, rather than address the factors that produce them.A resident at a low-income apartment building in Utica, N.Y., takes a meal to a friend.A resident at a low-income apartment building in Utica, N.Y., takes a meal to a friend.Receiving lunches provided by the Y.M.C.A. in Memphis, delivered by a neighbor.Receiving lunches provided by the Y.M.C.A. in Memphis, delivered by a neighbor.

Food banks are supposed to fill in the gaps, but more than 37 million Americans are food insecure, according to the U.S.D.A. “We call it an emergency food system, but it’s a 50-year emergency,” says Noreen Springstead, executive director of WhyHunger, which supports grass-roots food organizations.Read the Full EssayHow Hunger Persists in a Rich Country Like America by Adrian Nicole LeBlancMartha Carrizales, 59, has worked in a school cafeteria for 18 years. When the pandemic led to school closures, she was hired to spend a few hours a day preparing and handing out food to neighborhood residents.Martha Carrizales, 59, has worked in a school cafeteria for 18 years. When the pandemic led to school closures, she was hired to spend a few hours a day preparing and handing out food to neighborhood residents.

In early July, the pandemic was cresting in Texas just as Kenneally arrived.HoustonJuly 6

Kelly Rivera, a single mother with three kids who makes $688 every two weeks as a teacher’s aide, goes to the food bank on Wednesdays to supplement what she is able to buy with food stamps. “There are times they give you what you need, and there are times they don’t give you what you need,” she says. “You can’t be picky.”Tap to cycle through images

Ana and Destiny play amid the shelves emptied of paper towels and toilet paper at the H-E-B grocery store.
Destiny, at H-E-B.
Destiny, tired after waiting hours one afternoon in line at the food bank, in the doorway of the Rivera home.
Rivera flips burgers for a late lunch.
The children’s burgers on their table.

Rivera’s children eat Cheetos on the couch after returning home from picking up groceries. (From left: Destiny, 4, Ana, 6, Jonathan, 3.)Rivera’s children eat Cheetos on the couch after returning home from picking up groceries. (From left: Destiny, 4, Ana, 6, Jonathan, 3.)

The family had to wait for hours at the Catholic Charities in 100-degree heat. But Rivera has a message for her struggling neighbors who are too proud to visit food banks: “Don’t be ashamed. That is what the community is there for, to help.”Rivera waiting in a long food line.Rivera waiting in a long food line.Ana, left, and Destiny sit in their car, waiting in a parking lot to be allowed into the actual food line, where they will wait even longer.Ana, left, and Destiny sit in their car, waiting in a parking lot to be allowed into the actual food line, where they will wait even longer.Hatch, N.M.July 13

Some 800 miles west in New Mexico, near the town of Hatch, workers pick onions for $15 a box, which translates to less than a minimum wage for many workers. There are no food pantries nearby, and so the workers are forced to eat extremely simply on their earnings, making nearly everything they eat from scratch.Tap to cycle through images

At work in the vast onion fields.
Teodula Portillo, 47, and her son Juan Pablo Reyes, 18, at their home.
Juan Pablo worked from before dawn to the early afternoon. He filled, on average, about six boxes of onions a day.
A recent high school graduate, Juan Pablo is now majoring in natural resources and environmental management at the University of Hawaii. He worries about taking on debt. “It’s very expensive,” he says.
Meals with meat are infrequent in Teodula Portillo’s household. The family tends to eat foods that are cheaper — and quicker for Portillo to make when she gets home from her work in the onion fields.
“For lunch we usually eat what my mom has that we can do by ourselves since my mom comes after lunch,” Yasmin Reyes says.

At the beginning of the onion season, a priest came to the field at dawn to bless the harvest.At the beginning of the onion season, a priest came to the field at dawn to bless the harvest.

Juan Pablo Reyes is using the money he made picking onions to help pay for college. “People that work at the bottom of the food chain, cultivating all these different crops, are basically the builders of our country,” he says.Yasmin and Yeslin Reyes, 11, are the only members of their family who don’t work in the onion fields, but that will change next summer.Yasmin and Yeslin Reyes, 11, are the only members of their family who don’t work in the onion fields, but that will change next summer.Their older brothers started when they turned 12, and the same is expected of them.Their older brothers started when they turned 12, and the same is expected of them.Juan Pablo’s high school graduation cap says “Proud Immigrant” and has flowers in the colors of the Mexican flag.Juan Pablo’s high school graduation cap says “Proud Immigrant” and has flowers in the colors of the Mexican flag.

Leaving New Mexico, Kenneally headed west across Arizona. She finished her journey in Southern California at the end of July. The story there was no different than it had been across the country, except that wildfires were also beginning to ravage the state — yet another crisis in a year full of them.San DiegoJuly 31

An event planner and hairstylist who has been out of work since early in the pandemic, Alexis Frost Cazimero, 40, now spends her days driving around the county with three of her children — Mason, 6 (not pictured); Carson, 5; and Coco, 1 — collecting food for her family and for neighbors and friends who are unable to leave their homes or reluctant to seek help.

Cazimero says she is grateful she has been able to help others. “Being that person in the community that shares and brings resources to the people that can’t get them brings purpose to my family.”Adam Cazimero, 40, Coco (standing), Mason and Carson.Adam Cazimero, 40, Coco (standing), Mason and Carson.

Kenneally’s photographs reveal the fragility of American life, exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic. They show us how close to the edge so many families live, how vulnerable and insecure their arrangements are, and also how resilient they can be when faced with a crisis.

But nothing stands out from these images more vividly than the children: eating whatever they can, whenever and wherever they can, somehow managing to maintain, in the midst of this historically desperate time, some innocence and some hope.Hatch, N.M.Hatch, N.M.Gary, Ind.Gary, Ind.Parma, OhioParma, OhioHoustonHouston

They are the greatest victims of the food-insecurity crisis. Research has shown long-term links between food insecurity and a wide variety of health issues in children — elevated risks of asthma and other chronic illnesses, lags in educational attainment. And according to a Brookings Institution researcher, the number of U.S. children in need of immediate food assistance is approximately 14 million.Oneida, N.Y.Oneida, N.Y.East Chicago, Ind.East Chicago, Ind.Florissant, Mo.Florissant, Mo.

For most of these children, the pandemic did not cause the instability that plagues their lives; when it is over, they will face a crisis no less acute, one that has persisted in this country for generations.Florissant, Mo.Florissant, Mo.HoustonHoustonHatch, N.M.Hatch, N.M.

In the richest nation on earth, they live at the edge of hunger.

Kenneally visited many food distribution sites along her journey, including ones run by: the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania, Parma City School District, St. Louis Area Foodbank, Operation Food Search, Neighborhood Christian Centers, Y.M.C.A. of Memphis and the Mid-South and Stewpot Community Services.

Brenda Ann Kenneally is a multimedia journalist who, over 30 years, has produced participatory media projects with families from her home community, including “Upstate Girls: Unraveling Collar City.” She is currently assembling a multimedia autobiography, charting her experience from being a disenfranchised youth to becoming a Guggenheim fellow and frequent contributor to the magazine. Read more about Kenneally’s journey.

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, an independent journalist and MacArthur fellow, was embedded in an assisted-living facility as Kenneally began her trip for this issue. They have worked together since 2003.

Tim Arango is a Los Angeles-based national correspondent for The Times. He spent seven years as Baghdad bureau chief and also covered Turkey. Before heading overseas, he had been a media reporter for The Times since 2007.

Additional Reporting by Maddy CrowellLovia GyarkyeConcepción de LeónJaime LoweJake NevinsKevin Pang and Malia Wollan.

Photo Editors: Amy Kellner and Rory Walsh.

Design by Aliza Aufrichtig and Eden Weingart.READ 622 COMMENTS

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I have been wondering why the US Congress (the people we elected to represent us) are COLA recipients while we the people who exist on Social security and Medicaid, SSI or some other Government retirement receive little to no increases? The reality is that no matter what the electeds tell us, they take care of themselves and lie to us. Our Taxes pay their salaries (which are too high) and thereby pay for their healthcare and retirement. I have heard folks say there should be term limits, in theory that is fine however we cannot expect these folks to limit themselves to a 2 or 4 years term and stop. We the people are the term limits and we do that by voting for or against. This election season is the opportunity to make adjustments. Another 4 years of TOTUS and his miscreants will prove to be more deadly than it is right now. Remember he is being abetted by the same neer do well Congress we have kept in office for too long. This requires informed voting based on several issues not just your favorite.

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In the recent RNC convention, I have noticed that in the remarks, many members of the White House staff and some party members have stated that they get tested daily. If this is indeed the case, then why is it that we do not have national testing yet? These statements are either lies or political rhetoric. Why would “our leaders” withhold testing from the citizenry? This question should puzzle all of us. Why is Dr. Fauci left out of conversations while the CDC issues false information and then is forced to retract it? We already know that the administration has no ability to tell the truth, yet why would testing be withheld from the public as this would be boost for them in this election season? This could be a conundrum if they were honest people however their track record for the truth is full of ruts and potholes. These questions and statements could apply to any political party but it applies to the one currently in control of the White House. It is a long standing sense from many voters that politicians are not trustworthy but we pay attention to what they say and do. If you remove party from politics, you have individuals with their personal faults which influence their actions on their behalf not ours (the people who elected them). It is odd that we (voters) to our detriment have become inured to the ramblings of our elected officials, shouldn’t we take the rose colored glasses off and take a serious look at who we are voting for?


The current election season has shown to be a battle of lies against truth. The truth being somewhere left, right and center of what is evident. The unfortunate part of this is that so many voters are uninformed about the issues. The issues are all clouded by the constant playing on the fears of voters. These fears are what creates and perpetuates the divisions between the various voting blocs. The reality is : “what affects one of us affects all of us in some degree”. While one person who has financial issues due to Government policies another doesn’t, when one person has issues with current health care, another does not. The idea of government policies is to provide equally for all voters. Currently those policies are in limbo at best and nonexistent at worse. The GOP stance generally is smaller government which in theory is ok but in reality is a fairy tale and a good talking point as most people don’t know what that means. The DEM’s stance is government coverage for the most important issues (health care for one). The oddest part of all of this mismatching of ideologies s that IF these two sides would spend less time bashing one another and trying to please big donors we could possible have a United Government that works for ALL of us. It is unfortunate that we have been entertained into believing the ravings of a narcissist and his minions (some of whom have their own unrelated agendas), when what we need are serious minded folks who actually want to serve. There will always be differences of opinions among voters over various issues but these differences do not need more unfounded and just wrong information poured on as fuel on a fire. The real governance has to start at voter level with the removal by vote of ineffective legislators as the current crop has for years stayed in office much too long to be effective for us-the voters.

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After several days of watching and listening to reports on the Post Master and related, I have wondered if anyone really understands the implications of the current administration’s campaign against mail in votes. First  we should understand that we have essentially a lame duck administration abetted by a neer do well Congress. The original sin of Congress in forcing the Post Office to prepay their pension obligations was the beginning of the money issues within the Department. The post office has not been able to break even since that fateful directive in 2006.- HR 6407. This makes the Postal service pay into the retirement and health care fund the amount shown below:

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`(3)(A) The United States Postal Service shall pay into such Fund–
`(i) $5,400,000,000, not later than September 30, 2007;
`(ii) $5,600,000,000, not later than September 30, 2008;
`(iii) $5,400,000,000, not later than September 30, 2009;
`(iv) $5,500,000,000, not later than September 30, 2010;
`(v) $5,500,000,000, not later than September 30, 2011;
`(vi) $5,600,000,000, not later than September 30, 2012;
`(vii) $5,600,000,000, not later than September 30, 2013;
`(viii) $5,700,000,000, not later than September 30, 2014;
`(ix) $5,700,000,000, not later than September 30, 2015; and
`(x) $5,800,000,000, not later than September 30, 2016.
`(B) Not later than September 30, 2017, and by September 30 of each succeeding year,

This is only part of the entire law, to read it in it’s entirety search: HR6407. The Trump administration and it’s abettors are asserting that the President is correct in his assessment in spite of the fact that many of them benefit from mail in  and absentee votes. This blind following is why we have a raging pandemic and deteriorating economy. It is unfortunate that too many voters latch on to one issue and ignore the wider range of ills brought about by this administration.

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 It is in our best interest to pay heed to the  title line of this post.

After the Civil War (War between The States) Jim Crow emerged subverting the freedoms of Black Americans. This continues to some degree now.

After Barack Obama, Donald J Trump (or is it Donald J Crow?) emerges and the underlying Racism is fueled by a self serving, failed business man with a cadre of inept minions, abetted by long serving members of Congress. It is a ” in your face truth” that we have a failing economy and a pandemic that is largely uncontrolled all caused by a disingenuous leader with no empathy for anyone other than his mirror image. The only and real power for change is in the hands of the voters (ALL VOTERS!). WE have the power to change the members of Congress for the better and we first need to ignore the politispeak that abounds and look at the facts of their actions. For instance ,in Illinois we have a GOP member who speaks with a forked tongue on a daily basis yet he shows up smiling much like the literary Cheshire cat and is just as fleeting. The TV ads show only what makes him look caring but the reality is that he voted for Cavanaugh, swore to be honest in the impeachment hearing and has essentially abrogated his duty as a representative of the people. This just one representative, imagine what the others are doing (in our names without our consent).

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