Minnesota Pol has never met a hungry person? He should get out more

Minnesota State Senate

Republican Senator Steve Drazkowski opposed a proposed school breakfast and lunch program, saying this week he “has yet to meet a person in Minnesota who is hungry.”

Guess he doesn’t get out much.

At least a dozen pantries are feeding record numbers in Drazkowski’s home district, officials told The Daily Beast. Eight families came to the Lake City Food Shelf in the first half hour on Thursday alone. It often sees between 20 and 30 families in a day, more than 100 in a week.

This number has increased significantly in recent years. And longtime director Carole Helgerson says that’s generally true across District 20, which Drazkowski represents.

“We’re all seeing increases,” said the 76-year-old retired sixth-grade teacher. “Some of them, you could almost say, have doubled since the pre-COVID era.”

Nationwide, there was a record 5.5 million visits to grocery stores last year, up from 1.9 million in 2021. And as someone who’s volunteered for 16 years serving those in need, Helgerson can’t understand how Drazkowski can say that he didn’t encountered a single hungry Minnesotan.

“How can that be?” She asked. “I’m sure he’s not getting out and he’s just a big ol’ politician.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is the anti-DeSantis. Dems should take note.

She summarized her perspective on the 58-year-old Republican lawmaker, who served eight terms in the state House of Representatives before being elected to the state Senate in 2022.

“I’m sorry, he’s just an asshole,” she said.

Among those who are definitely not assholes are the 40 people who volunteer with her.

“For the most part, these are all retirees who want to give back,” she said.

Incoming families are given a list of available groceries, including fresh fruit and vegetables. There’s also bread that a bakery would otherwise throw away, and meat that WalMart freezes and donates as it nears its sell-by date.

Target donates items including jumbo bags of candy that have been opened. The volunteers put together little surprise packages that they sometimes put together as they gather what the families have marked on the daily list.

“It’s a bit like Halloween,” Helgerson said.

She says only a very small percentage of families fail to express their gratitude.

“We get things like ‘God bless you for this,'” she said. “It feels good to go home and say, ‘Hey, I changed someone’s life.'”

One basic principle applies to all pantries.

“Helping people when they need it,” Helgerson said.

Sinema demands accountability for bank chaos. give her a mirror

An emergency shelter that in Mazeppa, Drazkoski’s hometown, hasn’t seen the surge that many others have.

“We were up to 30 families,” Jim Perrotti, the 61-year-old director of the Mazeppa grocery store, told The Daily Beast. “It’s a bit down at the moment.”

But, he added, “we have people who are hungry.” And since his hometown has fewer than 900 residents and Drazkowski’s home is just over a mile from the grocery store shelf, it seems the senator might have stood a good chance of to meet someone who is in dire need of a meal.

“I see him at the gas station filling up his car, so I know he’s going out,” Perrotti said.

If he wanted to meet a hungry person, Drazkowski could make the four-minute drive to the food aisle from his home, which doubles as his county office.

Should Drazkowski stay and volunteer, he would learn, as Perriotti learned, that disaster can strike anyone. He’ll also see people open up when greeted with what he calls “How’s your day?” and ‘What can we help you with?’” Attitude.

“They all have an interesting history,” said Perrotti.

Perrotti says that at least once every two years someone who walked in disappears for a while and comes back with a check for about $100.

“And say, ‘You don’t know what that meant to us,'” reported Perrotti.

Drazkowsi did not respond to a request from Daily Beast for comment. Anyone who doubts Helgerson’s assessment need only consider the additional callousness the politician has expressed in the Senate.

“Well, I should say that hunger is a relative term,” he said. “I had a granola bar for breakfast. I think I’m hungry now.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast’s biggest news and scandals straight to your inbox. Join Now.

Stay connected and get unlimited access to the Daily Beast’s unmatched coverage. subscribe now

Source : news.yahoo.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *