Published 17 December, 2009, 10:20
While the chairman of the US Federal Reserve has been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year for his efforts in rescuing the country’s economy, more and more people are caught in the economic gloom of the recession.
While critics accuse Ben Bernanke, the man in charge of US currency, of causing the financial bubbles, inflation and subsequent meltdown by creating money out of thin air, Time Magazine credited him for single-handedly averting a catastrophic depression.
But Bernanke has done very little to keep his country’s debt from escalating.
According to the national debt clock, America is more than US$12 trillion in the hole.
And those numbers keep on rising as US citizens continue getting crushed by the realities of the economic recession.
Seven nights a week, crowds of hungry New Yorkers gather at a Queens intersection waiting for a free meal.
And for five years, Jorge Munoz has been delivering it at the same time and place – the only difference is that the turnout has tripled.
Many, like 30-year-old Alejandro are homeless and searching for work, as US jobs are depleting.
A school bus driver by day, by night Munoz cares for the community and his home has become a sanctuary for food prepared non-stop for hungry strangers.
“When you hand a meal to somebody who didn’t eat in the last eighteen hours and you see their smile, you see God right there,” Munoz says.
Spending an average of US$550 per week on groceries, his is the sole economic recovery for a growing number of recession victims.
“Two years ago, it was sixty guys. Now, some nights I’ve got 150-155 people. I’ve seen people of 18 different nationalities lining up to eat,” Munoz says.
Munoz has been dubbed ‘The Angel’ in Queens by the neighborhood. Maybe not Person of the Year – but a man defined by his actions, not words.