Beaver County Solidarity in Hard Times

Hot soup in Aliquippa

Growing Demand in Western PA’s

Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens

By Patti Conley
Beaver County Times

Dec. 11, 2010 – Seven days a week, anyone who is hungry can sit down at a soup kitchen somewhere in Beaver County. No questions asked.

A community schedule of meals, available online at, lists the times when the 15 meals are available in churches from Beaver Falls to Aliquippa.

Such soup kitchens became a staple in the region 25 years ago when the steel industry stopped nourishing the area’s economy. Since then, soup kitchens and food pantries have filled food gaps for the chronically poor who are without jobs, benefits and money, and for those whose Social Security, disability and welfare benefits don’t stretch through the end of each month.

That was until recent months, when soup kitchen and food pantry staff said they began to see new faces at their tables and new names on food pantry applications, which are governed by income guidelines.

The nation’s rocky economy has delivered a direct blow to some middle-class Joes and Janes here in the Beaver Valley. An increase in local food pantry recipients brings home that point.

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System Wide Strike in GA Prisons for Better Conditions

GA State Prison

Inmates in Georgia Prisons Use Contraband Phones to Coordinate Protest

Published: December 12, 2010
New York Times

The prison protest has entered the wireless age.

Inmates in at least seven Georgia prisons have used contraband cellphones to coordinate a nonviolent strike this weekend, saying they want better living conditions and to be paid for work they do in the prisons.

Inmates said they would not perform chores, work for the Corrections Department’s industrial arm or shop at prison commissaries until a list of demands are addressed, including compensation for their work, more educational opportunities, better food and sentencing rules changes.

The protest began Thursday, but inmates said that organizers had spent months building a web of disparate factions and gangs — groups not known to cooperate — into a unified coalition using text messaging and word of mouth.

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