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Hunger hits Detroit's middle-class (beginning to look like Baghdad)

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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:25 PM
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Hunger hits Detroit's middle-class (beginning to look like Baghdad)


By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: August 7, 2009: 12:38 PM ET


A security guard watches over groceries being delivered in Detroit.

DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- On a side street in an old industrial neighborhood, a delivery man stacks a dolly of goods outside a store. Ten feet away stands another man clad in military fatigues, combat boots and what appears to be a flak jacket. He looks straight out of Baghdad. But this isn't Iraq. It's southeast Detroit, and he's there to guard the groceries.

"No pictures, put the camera down," he yells. My companion and I, on a tour of how people in this city are using urban farms to grow their own food, speed off.

In this recession-racked town, the lack of food is a serious problem. It's a theme that comes up again and again in conversations in Detroit. There isn't a single major chain supermarket in the city, forcing residents to buy food from corner stores. Often less healthy and more expensive food.

As the area's economy worsens --unemployment was over 16% in July -- food stamp applications and pantry visits have surged.

Detroiters have responded to this crisis. Huge amounts of vacant land has led to a resurgence in urban farming. Volunteers at local food pantries have also increased.

But the food crunch is intensifying, and spreading to people not used to dealing with hunger. As middle class workers lose their jobs, the same folks that used to donate to soup kitchens and pantries have become their fastest growing set of recipients.

"We've seen about a third more people than before," said Jean Hagopian, a volunteer at the New Life food pantry, part of the New Life Assembly of God church in Roseville, a suburb some 20 miles northeast of Detroit. Hagopian said many of the new people seeking assistance are men, former breadwinners now in desperate need of a food basket...
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:26 PM
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1. Damn
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:33 PM
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2. How does it look like Baghdad? Because the security guard decided to wear camou?
Is it unusual for grocery stores to have security guards?

Shit, you want to see depressing, go to any inner city grocery store and see all of the baby formula locked up in cabinets.

Detroit is in a bad way right now, but food shortages and poverty affect ALL of our inner cities. I don't say this just to defend Detroit. It does people in inner cities everywhere a disservice when people just point and gasp at Detroit, assuming these stories only happen there. They don't.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I live in a relatively affluent town, and they still lock up the baby formula.
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's interesting.
Here (Philly) there's a pretty strong distinction between the suburban grocery stores and the city grocery stores. Same was true in Detroit. However, the last time I shopped at a suburban grocery store the economy wasn't in the shitter.
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Same here. Most places lock up baby formula. Ppl steal it and sell
it, mostly. Poor moms get it free, so it's not them stealing it.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Does your local supermarket have security guards overseeing routine deliveries?
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 09:56 AM by brentspeak
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:09 AM
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7. Detroit has been like Baghdad for decades
The homicide rate for young black males in the Detroit area has been at war zone levels for a long time. However, as long as it was just poor blacks being killed, few cared about the conditions in Motor City.
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:37 AM
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8. Somebody needs to get these fundy assholes the hell out of Detroit!
"We've seen about a third more people than before," said Jean Hagopian, a volunteer at the New Life food pantry, part of the New Life Assembly of God church..."

I bet they make people actually step onto the food pantry's property, owned by the church, in order to receive assistance from them! They should take their "free" food and their imaginary sky friend, get the hell out of town, and stop proselytizing!


:sarcasm:

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kelly1mm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Nice post - would rec if I could - NT
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
9. I really wish I had some spare $$
cause I would love to make a sizable donation to a Detroit area food bank
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Were they unable to find an actual hungry person?
Sounds to me like the people quoted in the article are being fed.
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surrealAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. That's not what middle class is.
That's poor. Middle class are people who can afford to eat, and have a place to live.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Middle class people generally have a car, also.
I once drove from downtown Detroit to Ann Arbor in 30 minutes. Ann Arbor isn't even a suburb, really, but a separate small city.

Middle class people with a car can surely drive to a grocery store in one of the closer-in suburbs to stock up.

It's poor people without access to a vehicle who have to buy all their food at one of these high-priced convenience stores.

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