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View Diary: The amount of food wasted in American schools (75 comments)

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  •  Couple of comments (11+ / 0-)

    First, it might be helpful to understand that while the school nutrition program is, in fact, one of the first, longest running, and most successful welfare programs in American history, efficiently providing food to kids is only a secondary, beneficial bi-product of the program.  The primary purpose is to provide a stable price support and demand for American agricultural produce: it's a welfare program for farmers that just happens to help low-income urban kids too, because that's how farmers get the votes to secure their own welfare.  

    Food waste, therefore, although it can be frustrating from your point of view, just doesn't matter -- there's no shortage of food. In fact, this year, millions of tons of dry milk are being burned by the USDA instead of being distributed, because although funding was provided to buy up milk to keep the price high enough, not enough funding was allocated to distribute the extra milk and other products through school nutrition programs, WIC, or food stamps, even with the increases in the stimulus package.  

    What food shelves need, more than food which is never in short supply anywhere even during famines, ironically, is money -- the capacity to acquire (it costs money just to accept and store free donations) and distribute food.

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      for a welcome new perspective.  

      Boy, do I need a stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 08:31:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I get the subsidy program (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eastsidedemocrat, kyril

      It is just hard seeing all of these threads about people going hungry while watching so much milk, minimally, to be wasted.

      •  I hear you, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but it's important to keep in mind that even in the worst famines in the poorest countries in the world, food is never scarce. (Economist Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize showing how this was true even in the infamously horrible famines of Ethiopia in the 1970's or Bengal in the 1940's.) It's that some people are left without income or other means of acquiring the food they need that causes starvation, For example, in this country, it means not having a job or a large enough welfare check, which is why government stimulus is so important in a severe recession, but it can also mean budget constraints of local food shelves.  It's lack of money made available to the poor where the waste is occurring, not food in the garbage.

    •  I always comes down to money. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Proud parent of a US Marine Recruit. Semper Gumby.

      by sylvien on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:14:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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