It was the first day of summer in a place where summers had become hazardous to a child’s health, so the school bus rolled out of the parking lot on its newest emergency route. It passed by the church steeples of downtown and curved into the blue hills of Appalachia.
The highway became two lanes. The two lanes turned to red dirt and gravel. On the dashboard of the bus, the driver had posted an aphorism. “Hunger is hidden,” it read, and this bus had been dispatched to find it.
The bus was empty except for a box of plastic silverware and three oversize coolers that sat on green vinyl seats. Inside each cooler were 25 sack lunches, and inside each sack was what the federal government had selected on this day as the antidote to a growing epidemic of childhood hunger — 2 ounces of celery sticks, 4 ounces of canned oranges, chocolate milk and a bologna sandwich, each meal bought with $3.47 in taxpayer money.
On the outside of the bus, the familiar yellow-and-black design had been modified with the bold lettering of the U.S. economy in 2013: “Kids Eat FREE!”
TVNL Comment: How shameful is this, in the richest nation in the world? The ONE PERCENT is getting richer. Corporate America owns the government. Wake up America. Time is running out.