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Activists Seek New ways to Get Food to 35 Million

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:16 PM
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Activists Seek New ways to Get Food to 35 Million
Activists Seek New ways to Get Food to 35 Million
Overhaul looms to decades-old system that feeds hungry people across U.S.

Megan Greenwell


WASHINGTON - In soup kitchens, food pantries and universities across the country, activists are planting the seeds for an overhaul of the way America feeds its more than 35 million hungry people, the first major challenge to a system largely developed in the 1960s.


People take trays of food at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit on November 19, 2008. An estimated one-in-three people in Detroit live in poverty, making it America's poorest large city. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

They have begun providing food where people live and work, reconsidering the need for big, urban facilities and pushing for larger government food subsidies.

The goal is to make food more easily available to working poor women, children and others who, research shows, are a larger portion of the hungry than the urban homeless. They also hope to lessen the stigma associated with standing in line for a hot meal or groceries.

"The first generation of soup kitchens are getting to the point of outgrowing their kitchens and thinking they have to build new multimillion-dollar facilities," said Robert Egger, president of D.C. Central Kitchen and a nationally recognized anti-hunger activist. "And we're saying, 'We need to be adapting to future needs, not building the same things but bigger.' "

Soup kitchens, which provide hot meals, and food pantries, which offer groceries mostly to families, are the backbone of the current nonprofit food system. Most are in the hearts of cities and rely primarily on individual donations of food or bulk supplies from large food banks. They also need money for overhead, all of which leaves them vulnerable during economic downturns such as the current one, nonprofit leaders say.

Operating soup kitchens during traditional business hours shuts out a large group of hungry people. About 30 percent of households headed by single mothers reported going without food at least occasionally in 2007, almost four times the rate for single people, according to Feeding America, an umbrella group for 200 food banks nationwide.

more...

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/01/24-1
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:21 PM
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1. 35 million without secure food pretty much says it all. wtf?
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:23 PM
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3. Pathetic, isn't it. I didn't know there were so many hungry people in my
own country.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:23 PM
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2. K&R. Thank you. :) n/t
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cap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:26 PM
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4. Mission Accomplished.
eom
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:26 PM
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5. Splendid ideas, I will volunteer at my local high school kitchen!
And so will my kid (but he doesn't know it yet :evilgrin: ) K & R!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:30 PM
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6. Increase wages or food stamps
It's really that simple. The allotment is fairly reasonable if you've got no other income, none, zero, zip, nada. But once you start having an income, it's a joke. Whoever writes these guidelines is way out of touch with how much housing, utilities and health care cost. Half the country could probably use $200+ of food stamps a month and most people at $75,000 or more would still wonder how they managed to make ends meet. If people don't want to do that, then we've got to raise wages.

And I don't know how you do that when the stock market just lost all the money that the rich people just had to have the last 8 years.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:30 PM
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7. A segment of the DU would be horriified to find out that
a considerable number of those food kitchens were operated by religious organizations that were cheating the government out of their taxes
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Ocracoker16 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. Rethinking food distribution
This is an interesting article. Food banks certainly have limitations. Their business hours make it hard for some working people to come. I like the idea of the campus kitchens where students go door to door to deliver food. When I was younger, I volunteered at Food and Friends in DC. They provide hot meal delivery and grocery delivery to chronically ill low income people. There are many clients with HIV/AIDS. Many are homebound so they really appreciate getting their meals.
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