Things I am passionate about. Injustice, stupidity, intolerance, bigotry and small-mindedness. Oh and there might just be some humor to offset the whole thing.

NPR: Economy Is Forcing Fat People to Starve

Posted by morganwrites on July 25, 2008

Public media: your tax dollar at work. Socialism can’t even produce socialist propaganda as competently as the free market.

Check out the picture accompanying a tear-jerking NPR piece (printed below for your convenience) that weeps for Americans who are cutting down on food because they can’t afford it due to the horrible economy:

Photo Courtesy of Food Stamps

Photo Courtesy of Food Stamps

Angelica Hernandez & Gloria Nunez

Public media: your tax dollar at work. Socialism can’t even produce socialist propaganda as competently as the free market.

All Things Considered

July 17, 2008 · A generation ago, the livelihood of Gloria Nunez’s family was built on cars.

Her father worked at General Motors for 45 years before retiring. Her mother taught driver’s education. Nunez and her six siblings grew up middle class.

Things have changed considerably for this Ohio family.

Nunez’s van broke down last fall. Now, her 19-year-old daughter has no reliable transportation out of their subsidized housing complex in Fostoria, 40 miles south of Toledo, to look for a job.

Nunez and most of her siblings and their spouses are unemployed and rely on government assistance and food stamps. Some have part-time jobs, but working is made more difficult with no car or public transportation.

Low-income families in Ohio say they are particularly hard-hit by the changes in the economy, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health. Two-thirds of lower-income respondents, or 66 percent, say paying for gas is a serious problem because of recent changes in the economy. Nearly half of low-income Ohioans, or 47 percent, say that getting a well-paying job or a raise in pay is also major problem.

‘I Just Can’t Get A Job’

Nunez, 40, has never worked and has no high school degree. She says a car accident 17 years ago left her depressed and disabled, incapable of getting a job. Instead, she and her daughter, Angelica Hernandez, survive on a $637 Social Security check and $102 in food stamps.

Hernandez received her high school diploma and has had several jobs in recent years. But now, because fewer restaurants and stores are hiring, she says she finds it hard to find a job. Even if she could, she says it’s particularly hard to imagine how she’ll keep it. She says she needs someone to give her a lift just to get to an interview. And with gas prices so high, she’s not sure she could afford to pay someone to drive her to work every day.

People tell Nunez her daughter could get more money in public assistance if she had a child.

“A lot of people have told me, ‘Why don’t your daughter have a kid?'”

They both reject that as a plan.

“I’m trying to get a job,” Hernandez says. “I just can’t get a job.”

Hernandez says she’s trying to get training to be a nurse’s assistant, but without her own set of wheels or enough money to pay others for gas, it hasn’t been easy.

‘What’s Going To Happen To Us?’

Most of their extended family lives in the same townhouse complex. The only employer within walking distance is a ThyssenKrupp factory that makes diesel engine parts. That facility, which employs 400 people, is shutting down and moving to Illinois next year.

The only one with a car is Irma Hernandez, Nunez’s mother. Hernandez says that with a teenage son still at home, the cost of feeding him and sending him to school is rising, and she can no longer pay for the car.

She’s now two car payments behind.

“I’m about to lose my car,” she says on her way to pick up one of her daughters to take her to Toledo. “So then what’s going to happen to us?”

So Nunez and her daughter are mostly stuck at home.

The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it’s more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don’t buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles.

No signs of exercise in this article. Hmmm.


2 Responses to “NPR: Economy Is Forcing Fat People to Starve”

  1. cooper said

    I think socio – economics play a role in obesity in that people on the lower end of the socio-economic scale have poorer medical care, are less likely to be educated about nutrition, and less likely to afford the foods which do not make you fat.

  2. cooper – I disagree.
    We have a family that lives down the street from us and they are what I would consider, in today’s economy as “poor”. Fortunately, they have access to food stamps, etc. and our town, which is small, has a program wherein the grocery stores give food to the elderly as well as other needy folks.
    I also think that people, such as in the above story, are being “used” by the media to foment a problem that is not really there.
    I recently read a story how people in a certain neighborhood wanted to exercise but couldn’t do to the lack of a gym being nearby, they had no sidewalks to walk on, they didn’t feel safe to exercise outside because of the fear of being killed by drive-byes and they had no transportation. Oh, and this isn’t meant to be prejudicial in nature, but they were people of color.
    There is no convenient gym to where we live, there are no sidewalks in our neighborhood, we walk 5 miles everyday, exercise for an hour each day – no, we don’t have drive-byes – and the cost of a gallon of regular gas is $4.79.
    Do they not teach nutrition in school these days? Do they not know how to access information on the web – even if they don’t own a computer, most public libraries will allow you to use theirs for no fee – at least they do in our town. One would think the same opportunity exists in Ohio.
    Fostoria, Ohio, according to a 2005 census, has roughly 14,000 residents – with an estimated 20,000 extra population living in the surrounding area. Fostoria also has it’s own website that lists a myriad of services. John Davoli is the mayor. Columbus, Cleveland and Detroit are within a 2 hour drive.
    Regarding affording food that doesn’t make you fat – Ohio is a farming state, they must have fruit available. Oatmeal isn’t going to make you fat, fruit won’t make you fat, plain low fat yogurt with a bit of honey won’t make you fat, pb&j sandwich won’t make you fat, carrots won’t make you fat, salad won’t make you fat, water won’t make you fat – need I go on?
    I’m not attacking you – sometimes, hell, more than sometimes – it just pisses me off that people don’t take care of themselves and “cry” to the media (or the media goes looking for them) about their problems which are, sometimes, brought on by their own laziness and the idea that the ‘government must take care of me’.
    I could tell you a story….

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