sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hunger & Food Banks

There should be no hunger in America. 
I can't speak to other nations' means, but I can speak to ours. 

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS HAVE FAILED and they will continue to fail to feed the needy, no matter who is president or who sits in the legislature. I am not talking about food stamps, which are regularly traded for drugs (going rate is $1 foodstamp for $.30 worth of narcotics on the street). I'm not talking about government subsidies, which have had a checkered past and limited value. I am talking about food and food banks which survive based on the charity of good people.  To cite a well used metaphor, the government couldn't pour sand out of boot if the instructions were on the heel. You'd be paying three times the value of a can of beans for the government to hand it out.

I returned a few minutes ago from the local food bank and there was a long line of people waiting for a bag of food each (fresh fruit) and a bag of food each (canned goods). Those people were not standing in line because they had a dark motive for a hand out. They were standing there because they were hungry.

Our family has a practice. When we go to Costco or a warehouse store, we buy a flat or two of canned goods or peanut butter each time. Every month or so we drop that bounty off at the food bank.

Government hand-outs at taxpayer expense provide the excuse or perception that the poor are cared for. In most states, we're tapped by the federal and state government at an obscene level to "care for the poor". What we do is create massive bureaucracies with vast overhead costs so that 90% (or so) of the money is consumed by the government jobs and a trickle goes out the other end to the poor. People feel as though the thousands of dollars they pay annually for the sake of the poor actually go to the poor. People feel as though they've done enough when they look at their check stub (what they earned, minus what they pay in tax) and for a long time I felt the same way.

Sadly, it's not enough. We need to do what we can, when we can, because there is no excuse for hunger in America.


  1. I lave in a small rural community with 3 active non-profit 'food banks'. Non-profit = tax and government grant-fund.

    They are all complaining about a lack of food and money. Meanwhile, our churches continue to quietly feed the poor from money given by church members.

  2. Great idea, LL! We should all do this during the holiday season, and through the rest of the year.

  3. The government is an endless black hole sucking in resources. Churches provide an avenue for personal service and giving where contributions are voluntary - it's not one of those things where somebody (the government) isn't threatening you with prison if you don't pay taxes.

    The Founding Fathers understood this. The concept is lost on the present generation.

  4. Your right. There shouldn't be any hunger in America. I have heard from others that America used to be community oriented and people helped neighbors out in earlier years. But, now because of the fast paced society we live in and the two income society we live in today, the community doesn't help each other out as it used to in the past. I think we need to bring back that community spirit somehow.

  5. Our government is bloated and corrupt. Corruption is the child of greed. Greed is the diametric opposite of charity. We clearly don't get what we pay for in terms of taxation. If the government is going to squander the budget we give it, perhaps it is time to tighten that budget a little. Send the pork people packing, regardless of party.

  6. Agreed, no excuse for any American to be hungry.



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