The Archaeology Beat
Regarding James Heflin's June 16 Art in Paradise column about the loss of ancient artifacts in Iraq ("Destroying the Past"): John Russell is a brilliant, kind and considerate expert in ancient Near East archaeology. I had the enormous pleasure of working with him over the past 10 years and learned more than one could imagine. His passion for history and humanity and his tireless effort to educate is enormous. John Russell is a voice that should be listened to and followed.
Tornado Victims: Help Still Needed
Since the June 1st tornadoes, there has been a great outpouring of support and compassion from our community to help those hardest hit by the disaster. Here at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, we have been working hard to get food and water to households trying to recover from the devastation. For people who have lost everything—their homes, belongings, and sense of security—food is not only a physical need, but also a symbol of care and concern. At our four recent mass food distributions in Springfield, we heard time and again words of gratitude from people who were still trying to figure out how to piece their lives back together. We hope that our offer of food helped provide a sense of normalcy and compassion for those most in need these past two weeks. In turn, The Food Bank is deeply thankful for the many individuals, groups, businesses, schools and organizations that have reached out to us with donations of food, money and time. Without this support, we could not have distributed nearly 250,000 pounds of food and water to Hampden County agencies and households in Springfield since June 2nd.
We received food donations from local supermarkets and food distributors as well as from other regional food banks. More than 40 groups have stepped up to conduct food drives, and dozens of people have made generous financial donations to our Tornado Relief Fund. These donations go a long way. We have been sending food out to Hampden County just as quickly as it comes in, and the financial donations are being used to purchase and distribute disaster-relief food products (every $1 donated allows us to distribute $13 worth of food).
We know that recovery will take a long time for the neighborhoods that were devastated on June 1st. The Food Bank will continue to do what is necessary to ensure that additional food gets to those who need it, both in the short term and over the next several months as communities and residents get back on their feet. To learn more about our ongoing efforts and how you can help, please visit www.foodbankwma.org.
Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
Buying American Keeps Jobs Here
When conservative hero Ronald Reagan was president, the mantra was buy American and keep our dollars here. Remember all those U.S. flags put on every label? Forbes ["Smithsonian Courts U.S. Vendors," June 16, 2011] has evidently lost sight of the roots that grew the companies it "represents." Now many of those companies, after having been supported by the spending dollars and the tax dollars of the U.S. citizen, would prefer we buy their wares made overseas so they can maximize their internal profit while neglecting the good of the U.S. community that has supported them. Buy U.S. for sure. The only thing that's changed since then is that we've gotten better at competing with manufacturing costs overseas. Keep our dollars here. And don't forget to support your local farm share— fresh food grown in your community.