[url=http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=764962]Food relief line grows long, tense
Frustration rises, officials caught off-guard as thousands turn out for flood assistance
The chaos that erupted outside Milwaukee County's main welfare office Monday over disaster-related food aid had more to do with a weak economy and crushing poverty in parts of this community than the devastating floods that swept through the state earlier this month, local government and food relief officials said.
The line stretches for blocks Monday as people wait outside the Coggs Center to apply for food vouchers. Police and deputies were called in to calm the crowds.
About 3,000 people turned out for the assistance beginning at 3 a.m. Monday, creating a line that stretched several blocks around the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center at 1220 W. Vliet St. At least one woman said she was trampled when a crowd rushed the doors as they opened around 7:30 a.m., and dozens of Milwaukee police officers and sheriff's deputies were called to quell the scene.
"The food crisis in Milwaukee and throughout the United States is worse than many of us have realized," said Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines, who with other elected officials called on the community to support local food pantries.
Many of the thousands of applicants thought they would receive vouchers immediately, and frustration mounted when some learned that was not the case