Dignity endures in the face of poverty, hunger

The face of hunger doesn't have the look many people imagine.

Retired U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings of Charleston tried to tell us that years ago. It was one of his first discoveries when the nation shined its lights on Lowcountry hunger in the late 1960s.

"I saw what all America needs to see," Hollings wrote later about his experience. "The hungry are not able-bodied men, sitting around drunk and lazy on welfare. They are children. They are abandoned women, or the crippled, or the aged."

Last week, a volunteer with a local meals-delivery program saw something else.

She was used to seeing old people living inmeager conditions. She learned how to find them in the woods down dirt roads that never show up in Beaufort County's travel brochures. She told of the 88-year-old man trying to mow his yard while also serving as caregiver of his bed-ridden wife inside.

But volunteer Terry Gibson of Lady's Island was touched by something else.

"The following is a true story," she wrote in an e-mail to me. "This is something that people should know about."

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