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I read with sympathy a recent column by Donn Esmonde. I also grew up in a rural town in the south with a single mother. But "Gloria," the subject of his profile, has access to services my mother could never take advantage of in South Mississippi.

Living on Buffalo's East Side gives Gloria access to numerous emergency food assistance programs to help feed her growing boys. She can go to a dining room with no questions asked and receive a hot meal and a kind word. She can take advantage of supplemental programs that will provide groceries for her and her family with minimal information needed about her income, household expenses and number of family members.

These are not welfare or public assistance programs. These are a few of the thousands of food assistance programs across the country that seek to help a growing segment of our population: the working poor, who need not be ashamed. Instead, they are to be lauded for working so hard when no light appears at the end of the tunnel.

Gloria, and all the other Glorias out there: Please call me at the Food Bank of WNY, where I serve as Nutrition Resource Manager, so we can refer you to a panty or feeding program in your neighborhood. You are why they exist.


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