After an outpouring of support throughout the late summer, it certainly appeared that backyard hens would end up being declared legal in Brookfield.

While this decision is guaranteed to not make everyone happy in the village, we don’t believe that there will be a run at the feed store by Brookfield home owners to scoop up as many hens as possible and turn the village into a suburban version of Green Acres.

What this law does is to allow responsible hen owners to provide eggs for their families (and probably their neighbors, too), a small move toward sustainable living in an urban environment.

There are certain to be irresponsible hen owners, just as there are irresponsible dog and cat owners. The village is going to have to deal with them, just as they did previously. Our guess, however, is that those who decide to raise hens on their properties will approach the decision seriously and thoughtfully.

For those who flout zoning restrictions and limits on the number of hens allowed, neighbors should rightly complain and the village should step in. But there are anecdotal reports of more than just a few chicken coops up and running in town. The complaints have been few.

This decision – an unanimous one, it turns out – was right for Brookfield and hopefully will serve as an example for other villages (hello, Riverside) to follow.

Damned right, class warfare

The Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry is slicing 35 percent of its clients out of its service area starting with the new year. Facing a $50,000 cut in federal funding and a continuing spiral in demand from local and nearby residents, the food pantry has made the hard choice to constrict its geography.

That decision means that the food pantry will no longer serve North Riverside and Brookfield, among several other communities. Luckily for residents of both North Riverside and Brookfield, there are food pantries to serve them.

The Riverside Township Food Pantry, located right at the Riverside Town Hall, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All you need to do is show proof of residency in the township, and you’re allowed to partake in the food pantry once a month. Call ahead to 442-4400.

We’d suggest that Riverside Township consider opening up its pantry to non-township residents of North Riverside – west of 9th Avenue. There’s no reason to leave the village’s Proviso Township residents wanting.

In Brookfield, the St. Barbara Food Pantry at 9300 47th St. is open every Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

These cuts, friends, are trickle down, and what is trickling down isn’t pleasant. The dysfunction and plain mean-spiritedness of our national politics is hitting home. When in the midst of this grim and continuing recession, the feds cut funding for so basic a service as a food pantry, we know our priorities are upside down and our humanity is wilting.

Local contributions are more essential than ever. More vital still is political will to reverse this horror show.