DSQ > Summer 2007, Volume 27, No.3
An audio version of this excerpt is available in .mp3 format on Jeff Moyer's website.
Follow this link to listen to the clip.

[woman's voice] "If a staff person felt that, let's say, someone had misbehaved, they would just walk right up and say 'You're done' and take their meal, whether they were finished or not, they were done."

[man's voice] "…difficulty maintaining their dinner or other food at times, because other individuals would take it."

[woman's voice] "… Attendants told me about denying food."

[Jeff Moyer / narrator's voice] "…Bedlam… The Cafeteria… The noise level was un, was unbelievable, and long long institutional tables where people were sitting with their trays and eating as quickly as they could eat or having their food stolen. Just… There was no one even attempting to maintain control."

[woman's voice] "…People didn't receive meals, when they were 'misbehaving,' if you will…"

[woman's voice] "…They called me and told me 'Ms. Miller, please come down. They are not feeding Nancy. They wont give her any food, or anything to eat.' …Says they have set her food down there and told her, 'Nancy, if you want that food, you'll feed yourself otherwise your not getting anything to eat.'"

[man's voice] "…stewed chicken on Sundays and some guys got tired of stewed chicken after church and stuff on Sundays there in ___ [unclear].
[man's voice] "… they had greasy chicken and I didn't eat it at all…"
[Jeff Moyer] "It was chicken, oh, yeah."
[man's voice] "I didn't eat it. It was too greasy."
[Jeff Moyer] "It was too greasy for you, too, Dan."
[Dan] "Yeah."
[Man's voice] "And they had no good food the one time I was up there. Same thing, never more, nah, same thing. The food they had, Like the food they was no good.
[Moyer] "The food wasn't good?"
[Man's voice] "Nooo…"

[woman's voice] "We had behavior programs, where people were, all their meals were blended, so the only food they could have was blended unless they behaved."

[woman's voice] "At one point she got very very thin, uh, because nobody was feeding her and, um, we came and took her home for a family picnic and [welling up]… she just ate and ate and ate and ate, because she was so hungry. My husband and his mother came down the next day and found out, you know, that nobody seemed to know that she couldn't feed herself."

[Man's voice] "He was thin as a bean pole and you'd bring him home and he would eat from the time he got home until we'd take him back that night. And he, uh, he just, was afraid to come back, because like I said, at that time, we had to furnish his clothing and anything that he got. We would buy cigarettes for him, a carton of cigarettes, and some candy, and stuff like this. And, as soon as he would come back and go to his room with it, somebody was down there and would beat him up and take it away from him. And he was literally scared to death."

"I don't know why, whether they took his food away from him also, or what, but he just, he was very malnourished, terribly so. And naturally, I guess, he was afraid for his own well-being to disclose the names of anyone."

[woman's voice] "When he started there, he decided that no longer were the staff going to be allowed eat different food and in different places. Because the food they were feeding, or giving to the individuals with disabilities was substandard, whereas the food that the staff was receiving was food that you or I might eat.

[woman's voice] "You know, if they wanted a snack, there wasn't a snack to be had. There wasn't a glass of milk, if you wanted a glass of milk … There wasn't a bowl of cereal, if you wanted a bowl of cereal… or a cup of coffee even. Those things just weren't there."

[man's voice] "Oh no… poor seasoning, you know, just thrown together, but you have to eat, to survive."

[woman's voice] Someone choked, because they had stolen food. Food was only in the central dining hall but staff would bring in food from home or from a restaurant. Someone stole a hamburger, and ran to the shower room to stuff it in their mouth…

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Copyright (c) 2007

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