State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Letter: Don't Politicize Feeding Those in Need

on October 30, 2020 4:30 AM

Since the COVID-19 pandemic changed our world, we who work with Limited English Proficient families in State College wanted to ease the burden of the largely invisible population that suddenly had no income, thus no means to pay for food or shelter. To this end, a group of former and current teachers from the State College Area School District established the English Language Learner (ELL) Family Fund—an expansive campaign to help sustain families who have nourished us and made our lives easier in a multitude of ways. 

Ours is a non-religious, non-partisan effort to support people here where we live. Working in concert with local churches, community groups, retailers, grocery stores, and generous individuals we have provided food and essentials to over 20 families, comprising more than 80 individuals, without asking anything in return. None of our donors are known to those whom we assist.

So, we were taken aback last week to find a message tucked in the bottom of surplus food boxes which were part of a massive “Farmers to Family” distribution in Centre County. The bi-lingual message from Donald Trump says, “safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens is one of my highest priorities” and we will “continue to serve those most in need during this challenging time.” The letter closes by saying “We will continue to support America’s recovery every step of the way.”

The ELL volunteers are happy to support our community but object to President Trump politicizing our efforts to make lives better.

Linda Barton
State College

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