I hadn't seen this thread. I would think that the Food Bank operations
that actually function in a sustained way get outside support (i.e.
grant money). While this would take time, once set up it should work
OK if you have a well defined target group in need that will be
receiving a real benefit (which you would also need to define in order
to get the grant). The food might even have to be delivered (i.e. to
an orphanage, refuge, rehab center or old age asylum), or a hostel
opened in conjunction etc.
There are undoubtedly funds for these things if set up right,
including the communications part of it
Saturday, April 08, 2000, 9:22:48 AM, you wrote:
DL> Here are a few more thoughts:
DL> 1) The common thread is that all people should be respected,
DL> afforded dignity and value.
DL> 2) There are those in our society who will never be able to
DL> participate in "WORK" as we now define it.
DL> 3) Food, shelter, clean environment, and the means to an adequate
DL> income are the responsibilities that the greater society is
DL> responsible to attain for all.
I like that, with some qualifications. Re "never be able to
participate in "WORK" as we now define it". I think the envelope can
be stretched with a little imagination and technological support
(computers for the blind is an example).
As for No. 3, the safety net, the minimum should be there but the
social contract involves effort on the part of those receiving it and
my experience is that most all are eager to contribute. There's really
no such thing as "the greater society", just a government that results
from a "representative democracy" that is itself an oxymoron and is
governed by people and laws that at best often only give space for
different kinds of initiatives that have to come together when enough
people care and share (agree on) the criteria needed to make it work.
DL> I reject the notion that welfare is somehow inherently bad. If we
DL> were to be more creative in how we look at, implement it,
DL> participate in it, we could create something very powerful indeed.
There is *always* a give and take involved. And the roles are
DL> I challenge all of us and especially those involved with food
DL> assistance to expose the rhetoric of self-reliance,
DL> self-sufficiency or whatever other labels whenever they are used
DL> to imply or promote the notion that anyone who needs support and
DL> assistance from the greater society is somehow at fault for that
DL> I think we are all at fault for not trying harder to expose this.
I have said in relation to some of the places I have lived: "I see no
problems here that can't be solved by doing (the place) over and
starting from scratch". Since that's impossible, it's a matter of
determining whether needed changes can or can't be implemented, giving
the sympathy (or lack of it) for those changes in those around us.
Sometimes the idea is right but the support's not there - but it may
be somewhere else, or in the same place at a later date.
DL> There is a great quote from a young man in Jonathon Kozol's
DL> "Amazing Grace" --- Evil exists. I believe that what the rich have
DL> done to the poor people ... is something the preacher could call
DL> evil. Somebody has power. Pretending that they don't so they don't
DL> need to use it to help people- that is my idea of evil."
There are many factors that contribute to create distance between
human beings (and other creatures, for that matter); and yes, it's
evil - but the rich haven't done it to the poor - they're just poor
themselves, culturally speaking. It may be a waste of time trying to
mobilize them though. I suggest: Create life giving wealth and attract
/ work with those who are already awake.
DL> Finally, a bit of an aside... I often wonder why it is that this
DL> country keeps swinging back and forth on this issue of welfare.
DL> Perhaps it is because we have never really embraced the values
DL> behind it.
There is no dominant, congruent value system at this time - just the
need for one (that encompasses this issue and others). There are
plenty that agree though and it's those you want to work with. The
rest will come around with time or die off.
DL> I don't think it has to be inevitable that the pendulum swing back
DL> and forth, with each passing swing yet another piece eroded.
It can go either way.
DL> My cynical side says the real reason the average person is so
DL> quick to accept the rhetoric that poor people deserve what they
DL> get is because we all try to get out of doing our civic duty- most
DL> notably- try to find ways to avoid paying our taxes and thus there
DL> is a projection that the system inherently causes all to try to
DL> find a way to beat it.
I think the poverty extends beyond the food and money supply. It IS
necessary to beat the system, by recreating it in little (or bigger)
enclaves capable of withstanding the onslaughts of that which you
describe. No one can do it alone.
DL> Okay, now finally-- To food bankers et al in the hunger relief
DL> system. You have the power to expose the system for what it is.
A lack of system with a lack of solid values.
DL> I challenge you to think long and hard before you put any more
DL> money in trying to expand your services- increase refrigeration,
DL> build warehouses, etc. Instead, consider what you might do with
DL> that money were you to not stop what you do now, continue at the
DL> rate you are going- even if it means giving just a bit less so you
DL> can cover more- and start pooling resources to forge a new
I assume that sources are no problem then. If this isn't so, perhaps
getting involved with production is order.
DL> At the risk of appearing an insensitive, heartless, uncaring
DL> person, I actually wonder what would happen if we (food bankers et
DL> al) actually held a moratorium on any food assistance for one day
DL> as a way of drawing attention.... I know it is just a gesture- but
DL> what are the options? We don't want stop for so long that people
DL> actually begin to starve, but would we really be harming them-
DL> would anyone be any more harmed in the long run were we to try to
DL> do more toward advocacy and less or the same in giving food?
What would be the object? I would think there were other and perhaps
better (more constructive) ways to draw attention to your cause.
DL> The reality is that try as you might, the hunger relief system is
DL> no guarantee of adequate nutrition for poor people. Let's start
DL> saying it like it is and make sure that those who have been saying
DL> it are heard.
The greater social context must be addressed.
DL> (Sorry for the long posting- I got away from myself...)
A good and sensitive Sunday post.
DL> Deb Lippoldt
Douglas Hinds, Dir. Gral. - CeDeCoR, A.C.
Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural, Asociacion Civil
(Center for Rural and Community Development,
a Mexican non-profit organization)
Cordoba, Veracruz; Cd. Guzman, Jalisco; Loma Bonita, Oaxaca
& Reynosa, Tamaulipas Mexico
U.S. Fax Mailbox (email linked) 630 300 0555
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