Councilman clarifies comments on poverty

The Marietta Times is to be commended for its series on poverty 50 years after a number of “safety net” The War on Poverty Programs were started in the United States to assist those who need a hand up to enjoy the fruits of the world’s largest economy.

It was unfortunate, however, that comments I made for a story Jan. 25-26 about local efforts to help people help themselves were unclear.

It is true that I have volunteered the past six years with Harvest of Hope assisting girl scouts, church groups, able and disabled to have raised bed and garden table fresh vegetables. I talked about the importance of empowering people to grow their own food. When asked about people abusing federal food programs, I said “There’s always going to be stories about people picking up food in brand new Cadillacs.” Unfortunately, the words “stories about” were omitted.

When talking about meeting people’s basic needs, I said studies have shown that once basic human needs are met, people are no happier if they have wealth or major wealth. What I didn’t say was people who have basic needs met still wouldn’t be happy.

Roger G. Kalter