Tuesday, January 23, 2018

More could be done to help meet needs in Stillwater

Dr. Rene Jackson of Elone University in North Carolina appeared on television last week and confirmed the sad fact that 20 percent of American children live in poverty. Pediatricians at Elone are being trained to gently lead parents and patients to openly discuss their financial problems.
Dr. Jackson’s assertion that one of five kids is hungry, ill clothed or educated in schools without basic necessities is a staggering condemnation of America’s claim to being the richest country in the world. I wonder what Montana school administrators and teachers experience in dealing with poverty.
In Columbus, Project Hope supports a school lunch program which offers free meals to the children who need them and cooperates with Beartooth Ford in offering a backpack program for children who on weekends can take food home from school. Sixty to 70 children and families in Columbus, Rapelje, Absarokee and Park City benefit.
Montana used to have a gleaners program in which farmers allowed poor families to search their fields after harvest for useable food, but I’ve not heard of it for years.
We’re left with knowing how much hunger still exists in Stillwater county and yet, even with the generous help of Project Hope and Beartooth Ford, more could be done.

Dave Grimland
Columbus