A Can of Corn

I saw something on Facebook last night that got me a bit upset. Now, I know Facebook is good for that. Upsetting people. What I saw last night I took a bit personal and I’ll tell you why.

Someone made a Facebook status about shopping at the grocery store and the checkout lady asking if they wanted to donate to the food bank. They joked about it. One of their followers said something along the lines of….’they could donate a can of corn, at least whoever gets it will have their poop decorated for Christmas’.

 

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Meaning that corn is hard to digest and the poor person who ate the corn will have something decorated for Christmas. I’m sorry, but I found the whole thing in very bad taste in more ways than one. I thought about it most of the night. It was on my mind first thing when I got up this morning. So I decided to write a post on why this was wrong and why it upset me.

Normally I don’t let things on Facebook bother me. I’m not on it that much and well…..people are stupid a lot of times. I don’t tolerate stupid that well.

The husband and I get a food basket from our local food bank every month. Yeah, I’m that person who will get that can of corn. But hey, at least I’ll have something decorated for Christmas.

Or it could be that nice elderly lady next door or across the street. You know the one. The one who always smiles and waves at you and the kids. Who gives you homemade cookies every Christmas. Yeah, that nice old lady.

The one whose husband died a few years ago and now it’s just her and her cat. The one who if you went in her house and looked in her cupboards you would find most of them empty of food. Because she can’t afford to go to that nice grocery store and stock up. She gets a food hamper every month from the food bank. If she didn’t do that, she would go hungry. Even that can of corn is welcomed in her home. It’s something to eat.

Sure, she gets retirement money every month. But it’s not enough to cover the bills and food. The bills come first. She doesn’t want to lose the house her  husband and her worked so hard all their married lives to have. They even had some savings. I nice little nest egg for their retirement years. That got ate up when he got sick suddenly. Then he died. The nest egg gone. The money she has coming in is now half of what it was. Just enough to pay the bills, if she keeps the thermostat down.

Most of the clients of food banks are the elderly. Did you know that? It’s true……look it up. I did.

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As for the old neighbor…She gives you those delicious homemade cookies every Christmas because she hoards what little sugar she gets from the food bank. Maybe the flour too. She likes to make cookies for your kids. As she doesn’t see her kids or grandkids that often. So she hoards through the year what she needs for baking and eats what she can.

Let me tell you a bit about food bank hampers. Every food bank is different because it depends on donations. What you get depends on what’s given. Like that can of corn. A typical food bank hamper for me and the husband consists of this:

  • boxes of Kraft dinner (usually 3)
  • cans of baked beans (usually 2)
  • can of spaghetti sauce
  • bag of spaghetti noodles
  • cans of soup (usually 2 or 3)
  • sometimes a box of cereal
  • if we are really lucky…a dozen eggs
  • small bag of flour (most times not)
  • bag of dried beans
  • small container of juice
  • can of tomatoes
  • bag of oatmeal
  • can of vegetables (corn, green beans or wax beans)

If we are really lucky we get some kind of meat. Usually not, though. We might get a package of hotdogs, or a pound of hamburger. One time we got a single piece of chicken. Which we had to throw away because when we thawed it out…it was spoiled. We’ve thrown away most of the meat we have gotten because it was rotten. Yeah, we are living high off the hog.

That’s what that old neighbor gets too. Maybe she is diabetic like I am. Oh, then we get a special bag of goodies from the food bank. It is always the same. Always.

  • two small plastic bags of oatmeal
  • two cans of pineapple chunks
  • two tiny containers of applesauce or jello (you know the kind, usually you can buy them 6 to a package. I get two of the six.)
  • plastic bag of dried beans

Why they insist on giving a diabetic cans of pineapple is beyond me. They are very high in natural sugar. Duh….diabetic.

So, when someone makes fun about giving donations to food banks….think a little. Because of medical issues the husband and I can’t work. Or we would be working. We don’t like having to get food bank hampers. We  hate it. But, we have to eat.

So does most elderly. Oh yeah, that neighbor? She has a cat. The cat is her only companion. It’s company on long lonely days and nights. It’s warmth on cold winter evenings. So on the months she might get a couple of cans of cheap tuna. She feeds her cat the tuna. She doesn’t eat it herself. The cat has to eat too and it usually does before she does. Because that’s what we do.

So, enjoy those homemade cookies.

We’ll be looking forward to that can of corn. At least something will be decorated this Christmas.

 

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37 thoughts on “A Can of Corn

  1. Wow, people are ignorant. This ticks me off! You know that I am poor and that I get food from the church. I can’t work anymore and am on disability. My husband is lucky to get 25 hours a week at his job and much of that goes to child support.
    I went to the store this morning to grab a few items. (With my food stamp card.) The cashier asked me if I’d like to donate a $1.00 to The Hunger Network and I nodded my head, reached into my purse and gave it to her.
    That dollar can buy a can a corn.
    We should look into doing that blog about how to be poor.

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    1. I thought of you when I did this post, Mer. As I know you are in the same boat. I don’t usually post things like this. But it made me angry and I got the nerve from your post yesterday. So thank YOU.
      We should do that blog about being poor! I’m with you on that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly

    Ugh, people need to think before they talk. Or breed, even.

    I am sorry that hit so close to home for you,but I am also glad you shared here what you get in your basket. I don’t think people realize what it’s all about and isn’t some glorious cornicopia of food.

    ((hugs))

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  3. ‘There but for the grace of God’. None of us knows when we might be grateful for such things. Many years ago when I became, through no fault of my own, a single parent to two children, my church helped me pay my bills by giving me food. I understand what it’s like to struggle financially. I think it’s a great thing that stores offer this facility and when we give, we get blessed for giving. We are here to help each other.

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  4. Wow what an asshole. The lack of compassion people have for others amazes me sometimes, but then to mock someone in need or otherwise use it as a source of entertainment for oneself? Disgusting.

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  5. Your post makes me sad. I’ve heard of more than the usual amount of pain this week, within my circle. The last thing we need is people who just have no f…. idea of what life is like. Next time I see a food hamper I’ll put something good in it.

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  6. …a post that is eternally timely, not just approaching the so-called ‘giving season’…I could rabbit on here for paragraphs about being in that same struggling situation so many times in my early life, and even into my middle years from time to time… suffice to say, LUVZYA, m’Lady, Jackie…mwaaah 🙂

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    1. Thank you my friend. We grew up in a time when getting charity was not something we talked about. So I don’t, usually. But I appreciate all the help I do get.
      Luvzya too! Mwaaahhh! 🙂

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  7. People have no idea what others are going through. Illusions and false beliefs are what people cling to when they make their judgmental (read stupid) remarks. I myself would be on the verge of being homeless if not for my parents and then a colleague who is willing to have me stay in their house while they prepare it for sale. I work two jobs, but they are part-time, and well, we know the drill. I wish people would think before they make their misinformed attempts at humor.
    Thanks for the post. It needed to be said.

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    1. That’s one of the problems these days, Deborah. People don’t think. Facebook shows very little of what’s real. Everyone complains about silly things, like the Starbucks cup. When grandparents and old people are going hungry. It’s not just children. Sometimes I think once our hair turns a bit grey we fade into the background and are forgotten. Sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is profoundly personal. No one could have said it better, Jackie. I spend almost no time on Facebook. I have 23 (friends) all family. Most are very caring because many are in the same boat. One illness can put most people on the street. I am not surprised you have diabetes from what they put in those boxes. That is very non-nutritional. I grew up and spent most of my life until my last marriage hungry. I think that’s why I stayed married for so long. Food and a roof where nothing to take for granted. Many military families are in the same boat. But the elderly really take it in the shorts along with single mothers. I couldn’t get a job if my life depended on it. You should be getting more help than a few food boxes. What’s wrong with the world? It makes me angry just like you that someone could be so callous as to make such a remark. I am grateful everyday now that I have something to eat. I’m sure we will never hear the pop because that person my never pull their head out of their a*s. Giant hugs. Hope hubby is doing better.

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    1. I don’t spend much time on facebook either. Just happened to take a quick look and that’s the first thing I saw on there. Needless to say I no longer follow that particular person.
      I couldn’t get a job either Marlene. Not to mention the husband needs me at home. We don’t like what we have to do to survive and people need to realize that’s just what it is. Survival. Thanks my friend. Huge hugs and yes the husband is doing much better.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Eco Grandma

    I’ve been there and heard the talk about people who need food banks. I’m glad you vented here because maybe one person will see this and think twice before making comments. I do believe what one dishes out will come back to them and hope that person who made the comment about decorated poop learns the hard way what life can be like to need a food bank basket. I only accepted a few bags from our food bank because the food was so unhealthy but that meant I had to stretch $60 for a whole month to feed to small boys. Can the person making that comment envision spending $15 a week to feed a family? I’m sure they would starve before figuring out how to make that work.

    It’s the same attitude about people who need food stamps. I can’t tell you how often those well-off try to get laws passed that restrict what kinds of food you can buy with food stamps. They don’t want you to be able to purchase cookies, frozen pizzas, ice cream etc. But those families who are on food stamps have no other way of giving their family a treat. I couldn’t take my kids out to eat or to a movie every week. Instead, we paid $1 to rent a movie and used the food stamps to purchase a frozen pizza or maybe the rare bag of chips. Those little treats are the difference between accepting the situation you find yourself in and suffering because of it.

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    1. One learns to do special things with very little. I go to the dollar store every now and then and spend a few bucks just for me or the husband. Plus, I have my internet and him his tv, which if we didn’t have we would go mad. Hope you are doing well Lois. Hugs!

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  10. OUTSTANDINGLY WELL SAID! Bravo. And thank you for standing up against such cruel, ignorant remarks, and making your voice count. For you, and for that little old lady, whoever and wherever she might be.

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  11. Post’s like the one you saw on FB really piss me off because the spoiled few don’t understand or care about how the rest of the world lives. We don’t waste a thing because our parents were bought up during the war when everyone was starving and they know what it’s like to appreciate every little thing. I hate the direction the world is heading with a bigger gap every year between those who have and those who don’t (and don’t care). Well said, Jackie xxx

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    1. Thank you Dianne. It saddened me more than angered me I think, because the people that were making jokes should know better. But, sometimes it’s hard to overlook the jokes that aren’t really jokes. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That was an awful comment that person made,
    I don’t know where to begin, but I’d probably feed my cat first, too.
    It’s been awhile since I donated to The Food Bank, or volunteered to pack hampers. So. tomorrows a new day & I’m pulling up my socks.
    TY for this insightful post!

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  13. That is so very upsetting. How people can be so ignorant, stupid and not caring about anyone but themselves. A BIG hug to you my friend (I am back home now) ❤

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