The following letter appeared in the May 20 edition of the Joliet Herald-News:
We are writing in response to the article in the Joliet Herald-News, “Joliet Junior College students participate in the poverty simulation,” from April 30.
We are proud Joliet Junior College students are involved in the community and dedicated to understanding the toll poverty takes. But for us, the food service workers of JJC, the administration is threatening to make poverty a reality.
Between all of us, we have nearly 100 years of combined experience keeping JJC students fed and safe. We take pride in our work, and we love what we do. But after years of hard work on behalf of students and faculty, JJC is threatening to eliminate our positions and lay us off. These jobs are our livelihoods, and we don’t know how we could support our families without them.
JJC must recognize that food service workers are essential members of the campus community. Cutting our jobs after decades of dedication would force our families into severe hardship and bring the entire Joliet region backwards. For an institution that pledges its commitment to “community prosperity” in its mission statement, forcing working people into poverty doesn’t seem prosperous.
Let’s not make poverty a reality at JJC. The college, and our entire region, can do better for working families.