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A Bus Turned Bread Truck

Eli Saslow, writing for The Washington Post, on a new program in rural Tennessee to distribute food to poor children:

And late last month came the newest iteration: a school bus retrofitted into a bread truck bouncing along a potholed road near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It parked in a valley of 30 single-wide trailers — some rotting in the sun, others swallowed by weeds and mosquitoes alongside the Nolichucky River. The driver opened his window and listened to the utter silence. “It feels like a ghost town,” he said.

A 5-year-old girl saw the dust trail of the bus and pedaled toward it on a red tricycle. Three teenage boys came barefoot in swimsuits. A young mother walked over from her trailer with an infant daughter in one arm and a lit cigarette in the other. “Any chance there will be leftover food for adults?” she asked.

It was almost 1 p.m. For some, this would be the first meal of the day. For others, the last.

The driver opened the bus door and made the announcement he would repeat at six more trailer parks on this day.

“Lunch is served,” he said.

In the United States, we like to believe third-world conditions don’t exist within our borders. This article is a sobering reminder that poverty is still a huge problem, no matter how hard we all pretend otherwise.

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