As I read the first part of your article on hunger in Maine (“The Challenge of Our Age: Keeping hunger at bay,” Jan. 5), my heart swelled and then ached for the plight of Nancy and Jim Pike. I am in awe of the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to maintain their lifestyle.

If ever food stamps were created for a reason, surely the Pikes are the poster children for this program. I realize they do not want my sympathy, for they are honorable people who have made an effort to live their lives with a sense of pride and dignity.

While I am sure it’s a simplistic solution, I can’t help but think that if the government did a better job of allocating funds and monitoring programs already in place, the plight of those going hungry in this country might be alleviated to some degree.

Abuses of the system abound. In Massachusetts many EBT card holders have been found to have multiple cards in their possession, some with high dollar amounts in place.

Immigrants and others flock to Portland because it’s “benefits from Day One.”

Just recently we dropped a cool $50 million in aid on South Sudan. Egypt is on schedule to receive $450 million plus an additional $60 million. The list goes on and on.

And in the meantime honest, deserving citizens of this great nation such as the Pikes are scrounging for food and a few gallons of kerosene just to exist. If you are not outraged, you should be.

Our priorities are upside-down, and in my limited capacity to understand how the world works, I don’t see an ounce of common sense in any of this.

Jim Brown

Edgecomb