While Momentary Times- The Documentary is in post-production being edited this Summer, lunch programs are starting up for the Summer that will feed our nation’s hungry children who will no longer have the safety net of meals they have during the school year. Out of the 21 million at-risk children needing help, only 3 million will have it.
I am fortunate to be part of an agency in the Pacific Northwest that not only has Summer food programs, but school year back pack programs, where at-risk children take home food supplies every Friday so they can eat while schools are closed.
This Summer, in addition to being Director of a family homeless shelter, the responsibility of both children’s food programs were assigned to me when the three-year full time staff member coordinating it left for a position in the private sector. I am arrogant enough to trust my own abilities to help where needed.
This week convinced me more than ever for the need for the Film. The insidious, bureaucratic, needless, insipid, moronic paperwork is STOOPID- dozens of attachments, notices, letters, declarations, and legal forms needed to serve paper bag lunches (apple, sandwich, milk, celery, etc.) for a summer school site, along with a breakfast/ lunch served at another elementary school where a creative day program is being administered (for tenth straight year) by university and school district members (our agency takes care of the food portion).
While millions of dollars of time, energy, and pompous chest/breast beating is being done by the leadership of our country on the human folly of one of their own, and national billions are being diverted in smoke and mirror games on what is “news” or “war” or “relevant”, children kindergarten through 12th grade are being threatened with not having an Oscar Meyer frankfurter as possibly their only meal if yet another piece of self-indulgent, unnecessary, and admitted (“I know, I know, these federal forms are silly but we just do them…”) by state gatekeeper office workers, paperwork is NOT completed. It’s UNBELIEVABLE!
There is no push back. To make 200 bag lunches on this upcoming Monday (and thousands more over the next two months) with a Lunch lady and volunteers, so that “our Future” can get something in their empty stomachs, and have the state and federal leaders of us NOT stand up and say “Bull-S***” is criminal.
The Emperor has no clothes. The system diverts a “who cares” Congressman Wiener scandal and the over zealous importance of paper shuffling over the needs of the hungry children in our Community. Today? I drive 3 hours each way to take a two hour class that a state worker (her= ZERO hours management OR food service, me= 30 years of both) will take to tell me how to open a paper bag, insert food items, and count how many there are. My Herculean task will be to show well educated, successful, loving, caring, mostly senior citizen volunteers how to to the same next week.
Saturday Night Live and comedians would have a field day with potential skit material for the absurdity of it all… this thing we call “process” as we genuflect, bow our heads, and cup our hands in humble submission to the gods of STOOPID!
I’m hoping I can handle that…otherwise many like Gabe above will have no food in this land a’plenty we call America. This Film can’t come soon enough…