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The Sunday Shows and Cable Networks are trembling with the outrage at the plight of the "poor" under-insured who are losing their crappy policies, and how Obama's "lie" about this is the greatest lie since Cain, or at least Bill Clinton.

But another story about the actual poor, passed with barely a ripple.  On Friday, $5 billion in cuts to food stamps took effect, but as Media Matters points out, these are the food stamp cuts the media won't tell you about.

Therefore, this is an outrage of which few, other than we political junkies are aware.  So here's a modest suggestion both to help some people, as well as raise awareness of the matter.  Make a contribution (if you can afford it, of course) and then post a message like the following on whatever social media you use.

$5 billion cuts in food stamps went into effect on Friday because Congress failed to act.  It would take 100,000,000 people contributing $50 to make up for that.  In light of this, I've made an additional contribution to the NYC Food Bank.

I am sure that most participants here already contribute generously to charities, but this is an emergency for many families, who will be losing, on average, 16 meals a month for family of three.

I'm posting this on Twitter, Facebook and a Linked in university discussion.  I think it's a way to (a) encourage contributions; and (b) make people aware  of this.

If it were to become viral, it might have a substantial effect.

(Except for places like Kos, I'd make it as apolitical as possible to encourage participation.  For example, on the Linked in site, I omitted "because Congress failed to act.")

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Comment Preferences

  •  Based upon stats, it'll be Thanksgiving... (12+ / 0-)

    ...when those on food stamps will start to feel the pain most. People with grocery budgets deoendent upon the SNAP program will start feeling the deepest pain by the fourth week of this month. It's truly a landmark travesty which tells us all the wrong things about the direction of America these days.

    Does Obamacare cover malnutrition and starvation?

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:12:12 AM PST

  •  I question this choice. (6+ / 0-)
    Except for places like Kos, I'd make it as apolitical as possible to encourage participation.
    Making it apolitical, I think, only feeds the right-wing narrative that if we paid less in taxes, we could contribute more to charity and thereby solve the problem without government.

    No, I think this does need to be political, and does need to point out that the amount of money that was budgeted to food stamps even before the cuts was still not nearly enough for many families who relied on the government's nutrition assistance to feed themselves.

    The only way we can ensure that all American families are able to purchase the food they need to keep themselves alive is to enlist government in improving the financial condition of the working class compared to that of the wealthy—to quite literally redistribute wealth from the wealthy to workers.

    That can be done through living-wage laws, through income caps, through taxation, through government jobs programs, through welfare and nutritional assistance, or preferably through all of the above.

    The more we dodge that fact in order to remain "apolitical" and accede to others, the more we feed into the right-wing frame that we don't need government, that private charity can take care of this.

    Without the political part that makes it clear that charity is being asked to make up for something that is the responsibility of the whole of society through our government, we reinforce the narrative that providing working Americans with basic needs is the province of voluntary charity rather than a basic responsibility for human societies to distribute their resources in such a way as to ensure that all have access to the necessities of life.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:52:00 AM PST

    •  Very well said, JamesGG! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janatallow, Aquarius40, bumbi

      Food Poverty in America is the most intimate and ubiquitous example of 'the Personal IS the Political'.

      America's acceptance of Food Poverty speaks directly to our character as a nation, and must always be presented as an act of political will, not 'apolitical' at all.

    •  It depends on your goal (0+ / 0-)

      I want people to contribute to prevent hunger. I certainly agree with you that this is political and I understand the argument that encouraging charity may add to the rw argument that charity shld. Substitute to govt.  

      But you won't get contributions from anyone but liberals if the request is partisan.

      In other cases, where facts may change minds, it should be partisan, though not vituperative.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:02:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Small, regular amounts donated year-round (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    history first, janatallow, Upper West

    will help keep your local food bank/pantry well-stocked every day, not just during the holidays.

    My local Food Bank (which serves pantries in several counties) says on their website that the pantries pay the Food Bank 14 cents per pound for food, to share in management costs.  My town's main distribution point says '$1 buys 10 pounds of food'.  Both of these numbers may be outdated by a few years, but I think they show what a 'force multiplier' the Food Banks are for all the local pantries.

    This information also changes one's perspective on the issue of 'I can't give much', and opens up possibilities of thinking about giving.  Even pennies count.  And, for most people, it would be easy to set aside all the pennies you receive in change every week, and to ask friends or co-workers to do the same.  (You could choose nickels or dimes or even quarters, of course.)

    Two dollars a month would come to $24 -- 250 pound of food to distribute, according to my pantry's figures.  Even if their current cost has risen to 20 cents/pound, that's still 125 pounds of food.

    But one key aspect is to give regularly, each month, even if the amount is small -- and encourage (or organize) others to do the same.  Regular, small gifts from a large number of people can have the same effect of one larger donation, and reliable monthly donations help a food bank/pantry plan ahead and keep the shelves stocked during the non-holiday months.

    •  Yes! Money to a food bank can be stretched (link) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janatallow, CroneWit, Upper West, bumbi

      Great point CW!
      Many food pantries I've worked with have stipulations that set a limit on how many times a customer can visit each month. So the customers have to know the network of pantries in their community so they can spread out their visits.
      That's where a food bank comes in. They are an umbrella for the local and regional pantries. Donating money to a food bank can multiply your giving in a more effective way.  For example from Feeding America:
      $1 can provide 9 meals

      "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." James Madison, Federalist #51

      by history first on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:03:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  keeping it local is my choice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Upper West, history first

        I've thought long and hard about starting to donate.  I've depended heavily on the local pantries, in the past, then when the Simulus-relaed increas in Food Stamps came, I had a few years when my Food Stamp allotment was (usually) enough, so I stopped going to the pantries to leave more for others.  However, after I started receiving my very small Soc Sec Retirement this year, my Food Stamps were cut in half (because I now 'have income'.)  I have health-related dietary needs that make my grocery choices more expensive, so now I will have to start using the pantries again so I can afford to meet my health-related food needs.

        In the past, my poverty was such that I just could not make monetary contributions to the pantries.  As I re-enter this system, however, I've been considering how much I can afford to donate regularly to keep resources available for everyone.  My donations will have to be small, but I'm hoping that I can donate at least enough to 'carry my own weight' and re-introduce enough money into the system to pay for replacing what I use.

        So I've considered the question:  At what level of the food-distribution system to I want to insert my (few) dollars?  FeedingAmerica (and another org?) are the 'top' of the chain, and make possible some 'economies-of-scale' resources (like the wall of Ralston mini-shredded wheat at the pantry this week).  My local Food Bank benefits directly from this association, and my Food Bank serves several counties, with a number of pantries in each county.  The pantries can all get supplies from the Food Bank at a cost of $.10-.14/pound.

        My choice is shaping up to be regular small donations to the no-barrier pantry that serves the larges number of people locally (the one I use).  This will allow that pantry to purchase 10 pounds of food for each dollar I give, and I can 'carry my weight' that way with a small donation.  Donating at this level will also support the multi-county Food Bank, when the pantry purchases food with my dollars.  Supporting my Food Bank (through the pantry) will also support Feeding America.  It's kind of a 'trickle-up' theory.

        •  I greatly admire and respect your thoughtfulness (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Thank you for sharing your personal story and insights. I'm just sorry we live in a country that doesn't provide more support.

          "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." James Madison, Federalist #51

          by history first on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:55:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This diary should be on the front page... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    history first

    Thank you.  Though my income is limited, I will be contributing and encouraging others to do so, including my R congressmen.

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