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Jacques Angelino

Columbus, OH

I have been working with the poor since the summer of '68 when I was with the Community Action Program in East Texas and I've become an expert on rural poverty in Appalachia, Ohio, having been helping a food pantry every Monday for the last 11 years. I see it every Monday. I see it as you know during the week too because I help out in Columbus, Ohio. But I've been helping out in rural Appalachia and I see the poorest of the poor. The poorest kids in the entire state their parents come to the food pantry I help to get, to get help. You know, as far as what I do is I know they need school supplies so I collect those. They need food and they need blankets and clothing. They need you know Christmas turkeys, I mean Christmas hams, Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas presents. I have a little free library in front of the pantry where they can access free books at any time of day or night. For the children, we put two free children's books and every food box. What I would like to see is the places where they're extremely underfunded cannot be say a food pantry or bank in places where they have a lot. Like southeast Ohio is Appalachia, seven of the 10 poorest counties in the state are there. Well, they can't be given the same resources as a wealthy area like central Ohio and expect to benefit from it because they don't get a lot of donations from the public and from churches. The government has to make special compensation for them and they need to realize that, you know, cutting food stamps to the poor when it should be increased and...A pox on both their houses because the Democrats and the Republicans cut food stamps and it should be increased so the poor can buy fresh fruit and vegetables so they won't be so sick.