Thursday, February 6, 2014

Empty pantries

One of the earliest apocalyptic stories I reviewed here was Michelle Widgen's But Not For Long.  It always sticks in my mind because of the quietness of the oncoming apocalypse.  In fact, although we have seen the metaphorical black dog of death at the very start of the story, we are left in a sort quiet peace, were wishful thinking has the urban folks thinking they will make a run of it.
In any case, the reason I bring it up here, is because one of the main characters is in charge of keeping the larder of a food bank stocked, and as the story progresses, he starts running out of supplies.  Here we have real life catching up to fiction.

Stretched food pantry runs out of food
Last Saturday, the Loaves & Fishes food pantry in New Haven, Conn., ran out of food.
Jennifer Liberto, CNN, 30 January 2014 (hat tip: NC)
Run by the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James, the pantry has been pushed to the brink from recent decisions in Washington that resulted in cuts to food stamps and jobless benefits for the unemployed.
For most of last year, the little food pantry was feeding an average of 225 families a week. Then, starting in November, more families started showing up. That's when Congress failed to extend a recession-era bump in food stamps, which cut $11 less from each recipient's monthly grocery money.
The pantry is now feeding 300 families. And things could get worse.
The political slant is not particularly well disguised.  Food stamps were greatly expanded by Bush W. and O-man has gone further.  The revelation that many big box store employees are paid so little that they are eligible for food stamps muddies the waters a bit as to who is subsidizing who exactly.  I don't pretend to have the time to dig through all the relevant numbers (which likely don't exist except in various polemists' dreams) and parse out the truth.
But, whether it is on the supply side, or the demand side of the issue,  I think it is safe to say that food  pantries running out of food is not a really good sign.


Sunnybrook Farm said...

How can anyone be hungry with trillions of dollars in deficit spending and someone as "caring" as obama in office. Where did all the money go, possibly wall street?

PioneerPreppy said...

Pensions and conventions... and a presidential vacations... every other week.

Mamma Bear said...

It is a shame that anyone in the US has to be hungry including those who work at box stores. What is really a shame is there is a small number of young military families who qualify for food stamps. This is for sure not right that they do not make enough money to buy their own food. Our church has a food bank and serves several military families. One can make a very good income and still qualify for the WIC program if they meet certain medical conditions. Many women take advantage of this program when they could easily afford to pay for things themselves.

James M Dakin said...

Historically, food banks made their profit ( non-profits to be sure, but someone ends up with a good salary ) from the homeless. They added low-income as a sideline. They were never built to pick up the slack of Food Stamp use.

russell1200 said...

Sunnybrook: For minute I was afraid you were going to ask me to defend the O-man. The main focus during the downturn by O-man's team was geared to protecting Wall Street. You expected that from W., but the cave in by O-man was surreal.

Pioneer: I vote for more vacations, and let him take congress with him.

Mama Bear: No doubt, the downtrodden are not saints, they are just as annoying as the rest of us.

Unfortunately the young enlisted men's wages are pretty much in line with the wages of their civilian brethren.

James: I was not aware that the U.S. model tended to act as wholesalers to other charities, and that the model was so recent. I have worked enough with non-profits to know that it is a bit of a racket sometimes, but most of the people I know who are in it are middle management and don't nearly make their cohort's median income. It seems like it is at the very top that the political animals live, and they are very different creature. I guess it is in the nature of things.

JaneofVirginia said...

We have four food pantries in our county. All of them at certain times through the month are out of food. People like me who donate regularly on the way home from the Sam's Club are no longer doing well enough to continue, and more and more people need food bank services. There has been a grand increase in the number of homeless who stand in Winter looking for cash or a meal at strip malls and fast food restaurants within our state.

russell1200 said...

Jane: I am not that far from you, but I have not noticed too much in the way of pan handlers. My guess it has a lot to do with rough enforcement though. But yes, I think people are less able to give.