In the Feb. 2 Maine/New England section, I duly noted how incongruous were two news items.

The cover picture showed a 6-year-old youngster throwing a frozen turkey breast in a competition at a winter outing in South Portland (“Warmer weather draws outdoor enthusiasts to South Portland WinterFest”).

On Page B6 was the article on the demand and shortages at food banks in the state (“Donations off, demand on the rise at central Maine food banks”).

Throughout the past year, we have read any number of articles about wasting food at fairs, autumn pumpkin or potato hurling contests while, simultaneously, shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries have reiterated the growing demand for food.

Question: What exactly are we teaching kids with happy, little faces today about the importance of food?

I am reminded of a painting I once saw of people dining, drinking and laughing in a well-lighted cafe while pairs of deep-set eyes in the grim faces of drably clad people walked by outside in the cold and dark, staring as they passed, unnoticed by those within the warm walls. Painted, no doubt, before some revolution or war.

Loretta M. Turner


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