The Great Depression has been hard on the family of Scout's schoolmate, Walter Cunningham. We find this out early in the novel when Scout gets herself in trouble trying to explain to her teacher that Walter's family could not afford for him to bring, nor go home for lunch. Scout was trying to help by explaining what everyone in the room except the teacher; Walter's family's situation was not a secret in Maycomb. Additionally, Walter's father, recently unable to pay Atticus for legal services, endeavors to offset some of his debt by leaving things like a sack of turnip greens for the family. When Walter (the son) joins the Finches for lunch one day, it becomes apparent how very hungry he must be, as he zealously attacks his meal.