Readers’ Opinions, 12-1-2013

Food Bank

Editor:

The generosity of individuals, families, school and civic groups, businesses and organizations is making it possible for thousands of low-income families to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this holiday. It is only through the support of many in the community that Connecticut Food Bank is able to ensure a successful “Thanksgiving for All” campaign.

I am happy to report that together, we collected 25,512 turkeys and more than 412,720 pounds of trimmings. With everyone’s help, we were able to provide 599,055 meals for people in need of food assistance this holiday season.

As we count our blessings for the outpouring of community support, we acknowledge that hunger does not take a holiday. In Connecticut alone, there are more than 520,000 people who struggle to put food on the table each and every day. And nearly one in five children in Connecticut doesn’t always know where his or her next meal will come from.

This year is particularly difficult as our network of food pantries and soup kitchens are experiencing an increase in requests for help due to the November 1 cuts to SNAP (food stamps). The reduction in benefits means there are 1.4 million meals missing each month from the food budgets of Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens.

This Thanksgiving is proof that through the overwhelming generosity of the community, we can feed tens of thousands of individuals who were in danger of going without a holiday meal. Let’s carry that resolve beyond Thanksgiving and into the days and months that follow. On behalf of Connecticut Food Bank (of which the writer is President and CEO) and the people we serve through more than 650 food assistance programs, we thank you for your support this Thanksgiving and all year long.

Nancy L. Carrington, Hamden

No imperative

Editor:

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” (Tony Robbins).

When a sports team adopts an inflexible strategy while compiling a 0-15 record, one expected outcome is the replacement of the coach. When party leadership adopts an inflexible political strategy while losing 15 consecutive mayoral elections, it may be appropriate to re-examine the effectiveness of that leadership.

The Wallingford Democratic Party has adopted a perennial policy of attacking and maligning an entrenched and popular incumbent, election after election. It has not worked. If one seeks to be an agent of change, then the voters want to know only one thing: “How will I be better off under the new administration than I was under the current one?”

If the voters don’t perceive an advantage that will improve their individual situations, then there is no imperative for change; and no amount of negative campaigning will change that.

For instance, in the most recent election the Democrats attacked and ridiculed the mayor about the state of technology in town hall. But what was lacking was an information campaign to inform voters about the suite of applications under the umbrella of “e-government” that could be implemented, and how those would improve their access and reduce governmental costs. Further, after the disastrous launch of the Healthcare.gov website and the public backlash against the technology, the Democrats should have adapted and pursued some other issue (such as taxes as a percentage of income, or regionalization and collaboration to reduce costs); but the leadership lacked flexibility and agility to respond to new challenges.

Next year, the Democrats can continue to follow the same strategies they have in the past and continue to get the same results; or they can elect new leadership, with a fresh approach to political strategy.

Jim Krupp, Wallingford



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