This week I told the Scott County Times in Forest, Mississippi that the Catholic Rural Life Association has come out with a statement calling for a moratorium on big confinement farms for cattle, chicken and so on. The farm conditions prove tremendously cruel to animals, generate large amounts of pollution run-off, and these progressively bigger farms are driving the small farmers off their land. Forest, Mississippi, by the way, has a huge Tyson Chicken complex that helps drive a lot of the local economy. (There goes a few votes.)… While in the area, I also interviewed Sr. Nona Meyerhofer, site director of the EXCEL program in nearby Morton, Mississippi. Among her many duties, she runs an after school program for Hispanic children to help them keep up with their studies, and with assimilation into the American culture in general… We then headed west to Pearl, Mississippi where I interviewed Jo Haley, 43, in regard to our ongoing study of poverty issues in the South. Mrs. Haley said growing up in Pearl, her father was a share cropper and later a truck driver. Her mother was a deaf mute. For four years they lived in one room in the Russums Motel, “apt. 34,” she remembered. Jo said her and her sister, and mother and father, all slept in the same bed in that room. And she remembers more than a few meals being: a piece of bread, mayonaise, black pepper “…and we’d just think about a tomato,” she lamented. I couldn’t help but wonder how many children were going to bed tonight in the “Delta” area of Mississippi hungry. Then I couldn’t help but wonder why that’s so.