Some of our fellow Americans complained that homeless people were shitting in the bushes.
The problem solvers thought it over and realized this: 1. Homeless people are Bathroomless people. And: 2. The more you eat, the more you shit.
So instead of devising a plan for more public bathrooms, they came up with a new ordinance forbidding citizens from feeding the homeless under penalty of fine. Isn't that clever? If they don't eat, they won't shit! Problem solved!
My daughter got wind of this legislated meanness and was so pissed that she spent a hundred bucks of her puny pre-school teacher wages on groceries, and made fifty lettuce, tomato, and hummus sandwiches on whole wheat bread.
She put each sandwich in a little baggie, and after school today, she, her boyfriend and I went down to Skid Row to hand them out.
I figured we'd park near Sixth & San Pedro in Downtown LA, near the Mission, then walk around and see if anyone wanted a snack. But that's not how it went down.
Before we'd found a parking spot, we leaned out the car window and asked a woman on the street if she'd like a free sandwich.
And within four minutes all 50 sandwiches were gone.
Everyone was sweet and polite and grateful and surprisingly pleased that the sandwiches were veggie. We hadn't even gone a half block.
But driving back through the crowded streets with no more food to give was utterly depressing. We knew that fifty sandwiches wouldn't make a dent. But knowing and knowing are two different things.
My daughter's boyfriend thinks one solution to all this hunger has to come from re-purposing the enormous amount of waste from markets and restaurants. Maybe that's true. Whatever the answers are, we need them NOW!