Please help those less fortunate

To the Editor:

The shelves at the Food Shelf at 138 East Main St., Caledonia, are near empty in some cases. It has been a tough year on hunger as we are serving many more. The holiday seasons are fast approaching. Many are hoping that you, our community resource, will help and donate many food items now and weekly in the future. Without your help, it could be the worst ever.

Please understand that the Food Shelf is not part of the food stamp program, which is now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). SNAP operates with a Food Debit Card that is received from the government to purchase food.

Please help if you can, especially if God has blessed you with more than you need.

The food stamp program started back in the Depression era, namely, May 16, 1939, to help the poor Americans and to sell surplus foods purchased by the government to prop up crop prices. In 1939, the average congressional salary was $10,000. It ended in 1943 primarily because they no longer had surplus foods to sell and widespread unemployment no longer existed.

Then in 1961 it was restarted by President Kennedy, and in 1964 the food stamp program was made permanent by President Johnson. In 1964 the average salary for congressional leaders was $22,500.

In the year 2000, approximately 17.2 million participated (when the average congressional salary was $141,300) and by year 2009 (our current Great Recession) 35.1 million people used the program.

In 2008, during the Great Recession, the average congressional salary was $169,300, and in 2009 it went up to $174,000.

Currently, the federal government reports that 47.8 million are using the SNAP or one in every seven Americans.

In addition, it is reported that 87 percent of all households using SNAP have at least a child, a senior or a disabled person in the household. The federal government also reports that 46.5 million Americans are living in poverty.

So, why is the Senate/Congress attempting to decrease or get rid of any type of food assistance program? It is no wonder that many people in 2014 will automatically vote for any new person. That will get rid of all of our current Senate/Congress!

The average income per household in the USA is $51,017. The average congressional income is more than three times this amount,  and this doesn’t even include all their benefits.

People of Houston County, the above information was given to you so that you might believe and understand that, we, the citizens of Houston County must take care of our own citizens as government  will only continue to “take” and not “give.” Please, please give as much as you can. God bless Houston County!


Larry Salm

Caledonia, MN