I went to Dominick's in Lawndale this evening and was surprised to find the store unusally busy. Then I remembered. It's the first of the month, the day the Link cards get replenished for the month. Link cards are used like debit cards and have replaced food stamps in Illinois. I know people wait anxiously for the beginning of the month, sometimes using the food to pay off debts or win favors with friends, or to sell for cash so they can buy things like toilet paper and diapers, but mostly to replenish barren cupboards and fill hungry children.
Link is an interesting name for the card. It is othen the lack of links, the experience of isolation that keeps people in poverty. I wish they could experience a different kind of link, links to opportunities, links to support networks, links to employment, links to education. Then we could cut up the cards and celebrate the end of poverty with a Link Day holiday.