by James M. Wall
The Obama family visited a Chicago south side Food Center at the St. Columbanus Catholic Church, where they handed out packets of food. Huffington Post ran the story on Thanksgiving Eve, complete with a slide show and a video. The Obamas wanted to show the children the “true meaning” of Thanksgiving.
Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News filed a “pool report” on the visit. (A “pool report” comes from a small group of media representatives covering the President-elect on “light” news days.).
Below are excerpts from DeFrank’s pool report
“Clearly, those lining up for food hadn’t been told they had an important guest helping out. this day. Many of them lit up; some shrieked with delight and hugged one or more of the Obamas. . . . . . The daughters behaved like troopers for a half hour or so before the cold caught up with them, and they retired for a few minutes to warm up. . . .
. . .An Obama aide said the family has been to this particular food bank before and has pitched in here or elsewhere at least two other years.
After about 40 minutes on the line, Obama decided to go say hello to about 200 students. After shaking hands with the food bank volunteers, he came over to the pool and had this to say:
“The number of people who are getting food this year is up 33%. It gives a sense times are tough – and I think that on Thanksgiving it’s importat for us tpo remember there’s a need for support.
“These folks were already oftentimes having a tough time, and it gets tougher now.” He encouraged all Americans of means to help out however they could. “This is part of what Thanksgiving should be all about,” he said,”