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Helping out Animals in the Winter

The cold weather is upon us and it is very important for us to keep warm but it is also important for us to help the animals in our lives to stay warm.  So here are 10 tips for the animals in your lives. more »

About DAWG

Direct Action Welfare Group (DAWG) is a statewide grassroots organization comprised of current and former public assistance recipients, low wage workers, people living in poverty, and concerned individuals who come together to share information and ideas and to advocate for each other, their neighbors, and themselves. Direct Action Welfare Group’s vision is the end of poverty in West Virginia. In order to make this vision a reality, we advocate with low-income families for economic justice

Category: Appalachia  Comments off

You Don’t Know Me – Why Assume

People make assumptions all the time without even thinking about it.  It’s time to start thinking about it. You don’t know me so why are you making assumptions about me?

I got this notice the other day for an important meeting in my county. The notice didn’t say anything about children being welcome or that they would have childcare there so I didn’t go. I know I had some valuable information I could have shared. Maybe I would have learned something new at this meeting too. But because I have children and don’t have another parent in the home to watch them, or have the luxury of money to hire someone to watch them, I didn’t go.

See the organization that was calling this meeting assumed either a) I didn’t have children or b) I had someone who could watch my children while I went to the meeting.  What they needed to do was either have childcare or make sure the meeting was child friendly.  It’s that simple just put on the notice “children are welcome”.  Most people who have the option won’t bring their kids but the people like me who don’t have an option will show up at your meeting and participate because we know its OK to bring the kids.


My children’s school likes to think they know me too.  They assume I really don’t care about my children’s education because I don’t come to school events or parent teacher conferences. They assume I’m lazy when my children don’t make it to school in the mornings.  They assume a) I’m on drugs or b) I am a bad mother.  The truth is, I don’t have transportation.  Where I live there is no public transportation and I don’t have a car.  I have no way to get to parent teacher conferences or school events and if my kids miss the school bus, I have no way to get them to school.

See the school thinks they know me but they assume wrong. What the school needs to do is provide a school bus to pick up parents and children for events and parent teacher conferences.  They need to understand that being poor does not make you a bad mother.  They need to understand there are many reasons why children are truant. It’s not just black and white, things are not always what you assume they are.

So for all of you out there who think you know me…… don’t.




About Vizi

"The mother of revolution and crime is poverty” ~Aristotle


Hunger is a Crime. STOP Throwing Away Food!

foodtrashHunger is a crime in a country that throws away $165 billion worth of food each year.  That is equivalent to 20 pounds of food per month per person in the US.  How can our government let people go hungry when this much food is going to waste?  The answer is MONEY.  By manufacturing the myth of scarcity, prices can be driven up and more profits made.  We are sold on the idea that resources are limited and there is not enough for everyone.  This is a lie.  There is enough it is just controlled by corporations.

  • 7% of fields in the US are not harvested each year. The produce is left to rot in the filed or be plowed under because market prices as too low and farmers can’t afford to take a loss. “If market prices are too low at the time of harvest, growers may leave some crops in the field because they will not cover their costs after accounting for the costs of labor and transport.”
  • Food is thrown away based on looks not whether it is edible. “Culling is the removal of products based on quality or appearance criteria, including specifications for size, color, weight, blemish level, and Brix (a measure of sugar content).”

A large tomato-packing house reported that in mid-season it can fill a dump truck with 22,000 pounds of discarded tomatoes every 40 minutes.30 And a packer of citrus, stone fruit, and grapes estimated that 20 to 50 percent of the produce he handles is unmarketable but perfectly edible.

  • Supermarkets throw away 1 in seven truckloads of perishable foods delivered “supermarkets on average discard $2,300 per store worth of out-of-date food every day. Almost all of this food is still consumable but may have a limited shelf life left.”
  • As much as 10% of food purchased by restaurants becomes kitchen loss, both edible and inedible, before reaching the consumer.
  • Restaurant diners leave 17 % of meals uneaten and 55 % of these potential leftovers are not taken home.
  • American families throw out approximately 25% of the food and beverages they buy. The cost estimate for the average family of four is $1,365 to $2,275 a year.



What YOU Can Do!

  • Stop throwing away food!!  If you have something you don’t want or its going to go bad before you will eat it give it to a friend or neighbor.
  • If you don’t like to eat leftovers make a plate and take it to an elderly neighbor or invite some friends over for dinner.
  • Talk to your local grocery store about donating to a food bank or soup kitchen
  • Hit the dumpsters.  Store dumpsters are full of perfectly good food that is thrown away every day.
  • Talk to a local farmer about opening the fields not being harvested to a gleaning project or to local residents to come and pick their own.
  • Talk to your restaurants and caterers about donating unused food to a homeless shelter.
  • Start a weekly food swap.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what ideas you have for saving food from the trash bin and feeding the hungry.


About Vizi

"The mother of revolution and crime is poverty” ~Aristotle

Category: Appalachia  Tags: , ,  Comments off

A Dollar A Dream

For the poor, buying a lottery ticket is like buying a little piece of hope.
 Many people want to complain that we waste our money on lottery tickets but they don’t understand what that ticket represents.  For that dollar we get hope.  We get a few minutes to forget about our problems and dream about what life might be like if we weren’t poor.

For the days and hours leading up to the numbers being called we get to talk about what we would do if we won.

We get to fantasize about what it would be like if we could pay all our bills and have some money to send our kids to college.  We talk about all the money we would donate to the organizations that help us.  We talk about giving money to the local food pantry and the shelter to help people like us.  We talk about buying uniforms for our kids little league team. We talk about buying a house and a car, not just for ourselves but for our friends and family.

As the jackpot increases, we talk about what it would be like to have enough money to go out to eat, to take a vacation, to pay for our kids prom dress or school field trip.  We dream of a life without hunger.  We dream of a life where we can go to a doctor or a dentist, not fear eviction, and eat fresh vegetables.  We dream of a life where we are treated with respect and dignity not looked down upon because we live in public housing or use food stamps. We dream.

When the numbers are called we hope.  We hope its our turn to provide a good life for our families.  We hope our numbers are called.  Our numbers ….. our children’s birth dates, our anniversaries, our address, our lucky numbers.  The numbers that stand between us being a case number, a statistic, a “poor person” and life.

After the disappointment of  not hearing our numbers, we go out the next day and buy another piece of hope because that’s all we have.


About Vizi

"The mother of revolution and crime is poverty” ~Aristotle

Category: Appalachia  Tags: ,  One Comment