A local man walked to the pantry this morning to receive food assistance. He had no car, no phone, and was walking several miles each way to pick up his groceries. He accepted his assistance and started his long walk home. About an hour after he left, I saw that he had left his house key on a chair in the waiting room. We were pretty sure that they belonged to him, but we had no way to contact him because he had no phone. Hours later he returned looking for his keys.
I felt really bad that this man had walked so far in such a short time. I asked him why he didn’t call the transit to bring him back and forth. He said that he can’t rely on them to pick him up anymore, because in the past he’s waited hours for them to pick him back up, after dropping him off at his destination.
This really made me start thinking about the lack of public transportation that we have in our rural area. We don’t have a public bus system, the closest taxi service is twenty miles away (not that many people in our area could afford fare), and the only resource we have is a small 15-passenger transit bus. (See how Obama's budget effects public transportation. Read on.)
Thinking about the lack or transportation reminded me of a woman I met in a gas station a few weeks ago who was using WIC (government food assistance) vouchers in a gas station. She explained to the clerk that the closest grocery store wasn’t within walking distance for her as a woman in her third trimester, pushing another child in a stroller, and carrying groceries. Seeing this woman struggle made me wish that we still lived in a time when it was safe to offer a stranger a ride to the store.
Read all of Emily's posts so far.
Day 1: Shock And Devastation
Day 2: Frustration And Disbelief
Image Credit: parityytirap on Flickr