After reading “The expanding effort to feed Maine’s hungry” (Page A1) in the Jan. 24 Maine Sunday Telegram, I feel compelled to write about the lack of altruism in our country.

The crisis of food insecurity in Maine, in the country and in the world causes me deep sadness and shame for humanity.

The news is replete with stories applauding the prowess of political candidates for accruing millions in campaign contributions, for the movie industry for record-breaking premiere movie earnings, for the salaries of athletes. I could go on and on with this list.

Why is it so difficult for food pantries, staffed mostly by volunteers, to raise funds to provide food for the rising number of hungry people when a contribution of just $1 to a food bank can provide a meal for a family?

I recently witnessed a young couple in the checkout line at the grocery store. The couple was taking items out of the bags of purchased groceries one by one, and handing them back to the cashier for her to deduct from their total.

The cashier was visibly distraught, and told me the humiliated couple said they had just put gas in their car and thought they had enough on their debit card to cover the cost of groceries.

I would hope to see people who generously contribute to political campaigns contribute generously to food banks. Perhaps movie-goers could donate the cost of one movie ticket, sports fans donate a small portion of what they pay for a game ticket or concessions? That kind of altruism would get my vote and admiration!

Thank you for the article.

Stephanie Betzold

Cape Elizabeth

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