Why did it take the media so long to "discover" and report on the dramatically rising rates of hunger and homelessness throughout the nation? Did that failure make it easier for presidential counselor Edwin Meese to declare in December 1983 that allegations of hunger in America were "purely political" and that people who go to soup kitchens do so because the food is free, statements matched a short time later by President Ronald Reagan's claim that people who sleep on grates do so "by choice." In this article, Menzies tells the unfolding story of how hunger and homelessness finally became a recognized issue in one city — Boston — how he became involved, how the story developed, and why he believes the media took so long to react.



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