Dear Editor: The Rockdale County food pantry needs food donations. These are the worst of times. The poor are getting poorer and often cannot find even minimum wage jobs. In fact, there have been reports that show us that one in six are living at or below the poverty line. Sadly, this includes an increase in the children involved. The root of the problem is joblessness; many people want to work but are unable to find employment. This is a tragedy that has been in the works for some time. Just 10 years ago, minimum wage jobs were easy to find.
Furthermore, economists said that levels of poverty are on track to rise to levels unseen in nearly half a century and no relief is in sight for the unemployed and part-time workers.
We need more donors not only because the need is increasing, among the recipients now and anticipated future recipients. But also because now the people who come to the food pantry receive only several small bags of food - probably worth about $20 - and that they are limited to four visits to the food pantry a year. Thus, additional donors possibly would enable the food pantry to serve more people with maybe more benefits as well.
In addition, people may have a long wait, depending on the number of others who come for help and the number and speed of the volunteer workers. While they live in substandard housing, eat cheaper food and often have poor or no health care, we live it up in comparison. We not only have acceptable essentials, but also find the money to spend on luxuries.
Many thanks to Publix, a major donor, which has quietly contributed hundreds of cases of food quarterly. And thanks also to Aldi, which has stepped up to replace Food Lion (Editor's Note: Food Lion closed their Conyers location earlier this year) as a contributor. Both of these companies are good community friends also. Publix, employee owned, is among the 100 Best Companies to Work For according to FORTUNE magazine. And Aldi pays their cashiers $10.50 per hour and shift managers $14.50 per hour.
Please join me and others by donating food to the Rockdale Emergency Relief's food pantry. For more information, call RER at (770) 922-0165.