Amy Calder in her April 10 column reported that Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro honored Waterville food bank volunteers with a Spirit of America Volunteers award (“Waterville Food Bank supports increasing numbers”). Her story told of the huge increase of people needing food supplements.

It was nice of the mayor to award volunteers in their effort to feed the poor. It would have been a lot nicer if Mayor Isgro read the newspaper’s “Parade” insert the day before and realized the reason why so many suffer food insecurity.

The supplement cited annual incomes of the top 1 percent of the nation’s wealthiest — mostly businessmen, television personalities and sports stars that make between $380 million and $10 million per year.

One Internet personality makes $3 million a year just putting on makeup and talking about it. A real talent, for sure.

In that same insert, a home health aide makes just $21,380 a year. That home health aide makes little more than minimum wage. That same health aide performs a real and much-needed service. EMTs and paramedics make $31,700 a year, twice minimum wage, and they save numerous lives. Someone like Robert Downey Jr. makes $80 million a year and entertains people (sometimes). That would pay the salary of over 2,500 EMTs. Imagine the lives that could be saved.

So you can see that if Mayor Isgro spent more time trying to correct the inequities in our failing economic system, there would be far less need for food banks. Maybe we could devise some sort of photo op for politicians doing the right thing for a change instead of presenting awards, no matter how much they are deserved. The recipients certainly deserve being awarded. But, does Mayor Isgro really deserve handing out those awards?

Peter P. Sirois

Madison