EDITORIAL: Desperation on the docket

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Things are usually hopping at the Kentville courthouse on Mondays. Known as plea day, it’s the day of the week when people facing criminal code violations and charges usually make their first appearance before a judge.

A depressing trend emerged while reviewing court documents from a recent Monday. Of the 30 cases on the docket, a good number were for theft under $5,000. In most of those cases, the stolen items were valued well under $5,000.

One charge was listed as a theft of a pack of diapers from a local grocery store, another as a theft of cat food. 

While all people need to be held accountable for their actions, it is obvious there is extreme need out there among our population. People who swipe diapers and cat food are unlikely to be doing it for a thrill. It’s more likely the choice to steal happens when there people feel there is other choice to make.

Yes, there are supports out there for those who find themselves struggling. But there are no easy answers to eradicating the cycle of poverty that some find themselves in. During December, however, there are multiple opportunities to help make this time of year brighter for those who struggle financially. In Kings County there are many groups and organizations that seek public support in order to reach out to those less fortunate.   A glance at this newspaper will give you plenty of suggestions for fundraising activities and initiatives where you can help by making a donation of money, food, toys or warm clothes.

People who swipe diapers and cat food are unlikely to be doing it for a thrill.

One such event is planned for Dec. 15 at the Kingston Lions hall, where the Musical Gift Concert for the Upper Room Food Bank will be taking place between 2 and 4 p.m. The freewill offering raised from this event will benefit Kingston’s food bank, which works with its community partners to bring Christmas to local families in need. It is the second in a series of concerts, the first of which, held Dec. 8, raised funds for the Berwick food bank.

During December, the month when conspicuous consumption ramps up to a fever pitch, we need to recognize not all people have the luxury of focusing on Christmas lists and holiday parties.  Many in our community are facing a month when their need is only more pronounced. The high number of theft charges laid at this time of year speaks to the pressure that comes with the holidays, especially among those already struggling to make ends meet.

 

Organizations: Upper Room Food Bank

Geographic location: Kentville, Kings

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