Free the Doughnuts! NY Seniors Protest Freebie Crackdown
In upstate New York, some seniors are taking to the streets to protest the removal of doughnuts from their food services. You can, it seems, be allowed a bagel if you're a senior citizen, but not a doughnut or, a Danish.
It was just another morning at the senior center: Women were sewing, men were playing pool—and seven demonstrators, average age 76, were picketing outside, demanding doughnuts.
They wore sandwich boards proclaiming, "Give Us Our Just Desserts" and "They're Carbs, Not Contraband."
At issue is a decision to refuse free doughnuts, pies and breads that were being donated to senior centers around Putnam County, north of New York City. Officials were concerned that the county was setting a bad nutritional precedent by providing mounds of doughnuts and other sweets to seniors.
The picketers said they were objecting not to a lack of sweets but that they weren't consulted about the ban.
"Lack of respect is what it's all about," said Joe Hajkowski, 75, a former labor union official who organized the demonstration. He said officials had implied that seniors were gorging themselves on jelly doughnuts and were too senile to make the choice for themselves.
C. Michael Sibilia said, "I'm 86, not 8."