I had written an article last week, “Holiday Food Drive Underway,” in an attempt to enlist the support of our Gulf County Community to fill the pantry at the Food Bank for Thanksgiving and the Holidays. I understand Johanna White is now taking some flak for that article. That is unfortunate since she does more for the needy in our community than anyone can imagine.
The article and opinions were completely mine. The quote that was attributed to Johanna was a typo on my part. Her quote dealt with the story about a recipient. I misplaced the quote marks and included two paragraphs as opposed to the one.
The language dealing with the percentage of the recipients was totally mine and I stand by my opinion. There seems to be some concern that this was a racist statement by a few in the community. There is no reference anywhere in my article about race. It was not a racial statement but an economic statement. I don’t have a racist bone in my body or why would I spend so much time and energy helping to raise funds for food, school supplies, toys, Easter Baskets, etc. My comment about the 5 percent being just sorry and too lazy to work but have children too is my opinion. That 90 percent of the recipients are elderly, disabled and 5 percent are short term and down on their luck shows that the clients at the Food Bank are deserving and need our communities’ help. I don’t care what race they are.
After the article we have literally had thousands more dollars donated. The community’s perception of the clients of the Food Bank has changed dramatically. In my opinion the only folks who should be taking exception to the article are the 5 percent who I labeled sorry and lazy, whether they are white or black, or anything else. I will not stop trying to help those in need in this community because someone takes exception and I would ask the kind and generous folks in this community not to stop helping either.
Patricia K. Hardman, PhD
Port St. Joe