Last Friday, I received an email from the nonprofit organization that runs the Food for Seniors program indicating that it may be canceled at the end of the calendar year. So I decided to take my camera along the next day to start creating a little photo diary of the experience. Point in fact, one of my clients had asked me to bring a picture of myself for her, and I thought a picture of us both together might be much sweeter.
The decision making process regarding the tenure of this program at the parent organization is undoubtedly a complex one and I don’t pretend to have access to all the facts. The only thing I know for certain is that the seniors on my route live a truly impoverished existence and they need the supplemental food this program provides. Whether they get it from this organization, another similar one, or not at all remains to be seen.
I lived in an urban neighborhood for 15 years, only a mile or two away from most of the seniors on my route. But the similarities between our lives ended there. I have never known poverty and it occurs to me that attempting to document this harsh way of life in images is nothing more than pretense. In fact, when I look at these images, they seem pleasant. Perhaps I edited too carefully, selecting out the photos troubling to the eye. Perhaps in the months ahead, time permitting, my camera and my conscience can be more honest.
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