EDITORIAL: Bringing help to those who need it most

York Dispatch editorial board

Thumbs up for the long-awaited unveiling of the York County Food Bank’s new mobile pantry.

The mobile unit, which rolled out last week after about a year of preparation, will allow the Food Bank to tackle food insecurity in rural, outlying areas of York County, where residents are often most in need and least able to access services.

And make no mistake, those residents exist.

“A lot of people think only York City doesn’t have food security,” Food Bank President and CEO Jennifer Brillhart told the Dispatch. “But there are rural areas that also have food security issues.”

More:'We bring the food directly to them': York County Food Bank goes mobile

The York County Food Bank introduces their new Mobile Food Pantry at the Emergency Food Hub in Springettsbury Township, Friday, May 14, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Thanks to the Food Bank’s converted, double-decker bus — “basically a food pantry on wheels,” Brillhart said — those issues can now be addressed directly.

The mobile pantry’s travel schedule is still being determined but information will be available at the Food Bank’s website. There’s also information about donating to and volunteering at the Food Bank for those who want to help this important organization and the new mobile unit go that extra mile — many extra miles, in fact — to ease local food-insecurity issues.

Thumbs down to Pennsylvania’s high ranking in a national survey of unsavoriness.

According to the employment company Zippia, which analyzes public data, Pennsylvania is the nation’s fourth “grossest” state. Neighbors New York, New Jersey and Delaware also cracked the top — er, bottom — 10. Leading the list was Virginia; and America’s least gross state, according to Zippia: Alaska.

The company said it used criteria like air quality, aggregate landfill acreage and prevalence of contagious illnesses. Air quality, admittedly, is not Pennsylvania’s strong suit.

“While these states may have pinged our gross radar,” wrote the study’s authors, “that doesn’t mean they’re absolutely disgusting.”

Talk about cold comfort!

This isn’t Pennsylvania’s first showing in the company’s rankings. It topped the list of states with the worst infrastructure.

Thumbs down for the relatively sparse voter turnout in last week’s primary elections.

Yes, there was bound to be a drop-off after the tremendous numbers for November’s general election. Yes, it not a presidential-election year. And yes, primaries always draw fewer voters to the polls than their Election Day counterparts.

But last week’s underwhelming participation — both in York County and throughout the state — was disappointing for a number of reasons.

More:'Voter fatigue': Low turnout in York County driven by political exhaustion, pandemic

For one thing, four statewide initiatives were on the ballot, including two in which voters transferred emergency-declaration powers from the governor to state lawmakers by slim margins. For another, as we recently pointed out, many primary races were, for all intents and purposes, the de facto election, seeing as the winners face no major-party opposition in the general election.

“Voter fatigue” was cited by some poll watchers as depressing turnout. That’s understandable.

Republican efforts to question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, punctuated by the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, have hardly abated. Huge swaths of the GOP refuse to acknowledge their flag-bearer’s overwhelming defeat, coast-to-coast efforts are underway to restrict voting access, and a baldly partisan sham “audit” in Arizona’s Maricopa County continues.

It’s hard not to think that “fatigue” is the point, along with discouragement and an undermining of trust in the electoral process.

Voters of all parties need to combat these disincentives going forward. Never mind the disinformation and obstruction. For the nation’s democratic process to function, all voices need to be heard — in every race, in every election.