Central Texas Food Bank receives angry letter: ‘I don’t understand who these poor folks are that need food’

The Central Texas Food Bank serves more than 40,000 people in a week, but it was one person Monday who reportedly took issue with the charity’s insistence on providing “these poor folks in need” with sustenance.

The Central Texas Food Bank located at 6500 Metropolis Dr. in east Austin, TX. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Central Texas Food Bank located at 6500 Metropolis Dr. in east Austin, TX.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The food bank received a “disturbing” letter Monday in response to a Thanksgiving direct-mail campaign asking supporters to donate any food they had. According to Paul Gaither, the food bank’s marketing and communications director, the letter was sent using the food bank response envelope provided, but with another stamp, no return address and a fake name.

According to Giving City Austin, the letter read:

“Dear Foodbank:

I don’t understand who these poor folks are that need food. I assume they consist primarily of illegals, who came to Texas for ‘free stuff.’ And of course, our Africans, who find work too much trouble, especially when they can collect the equivalent of $40,000 a year on welfare, and other ‘benefits’ offered to the unfit, the lazy, and the under-educated… and, of course, the drug addicts.

I suspect that most who need food are marching around whining that the congenital liar, Hillary Rodham Clinton, lost the election. Too bad; how sad.

I also wonder if your organization is one of those Phoney-Baloney, so-called ‘charities,’ designed primarily to provide a good living to its organizers.

In short, no way.

Citizen Robespierre”

After the story was posted on Giving City Austin, it got shared on r/Austin, where some users posited that the letter-writer was trolling the food bank, citing the letter’s proper punctuation, over-the-top views and the fact that the real Robespierre was famous for his advocacy for the poor, as evidence.

“The lack of empathy was disturbing,” Gaither told Giving City Austin. He also said letters like the one received Monday were common, but that the negative attitude expressed “seem to be a more widespread attitude” recently.

According to Giving City Austin, the Central Texas Food Bank “serves about 46,000 people a week in 21 counties, via 250 partner agencies (like food pantries, soup kitchens), as well as through its own mobile pantries that distribute to areas where fresh food is less available for sale.” Ninety-three percent of the population the food bank serves is not homeless.

“We serve people in need and we’re not going to turn away anybody,” Gaither said.

 

 

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