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Sorry, No Lunch

March 10, 1985

On the Opinion Page of Feb. 24, the letter "Homeless Need Help" certainly was well written and to the point.

Here in Escondido on the south side of the 200 block on Park Avenue is a trailer park where many older people of low income live. Some are unable to do their housework and send out for their meals. Just across the street is the Senior Center, where a noon lunch is sold five times a week at the low price of $1.25.

Why don't more of the old folks from the trailer park go there for the noon lunches? Because they can't get in. At 10 in the morning, people from all over start getting in line to be ready when the doors open at 11. There are a few uncomfortable benches, but most have to stand for 40 minutes of more. Sometimes it is windy, at times hot, or maybe there is rain.

Older people or those crippled cannot compete with the more healthy younger people who are there each day to get the bargain meals. One man who is 80 and supplements his $157 Social Security by doing odd jobs around the trailer park earning about $2.50 per hour can seldom get in as he is too crippled to stand in line.

Now, this $1.25 charge does not cover the cost of these meals. The balance, about $2.15, is funded by San Diego County under the "Older American Act."

I should like to say that in my observations I notice that these people eating here are not in need. Most of them are pretty well fixed as far as money is concerned. I wonder why the taxpayers (myself included) should have to pay for meals I can't get to but are dished out to the wealthy idle.

Helping people who are actually in need is something I am in favor of, but I frown on giving to the more affluent who act like a bunch of hogs at a farmer's swill trough.

PIERRE BROWN

Escondido

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