Could food bank spend more wisely?

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Recently I received my mailing from Golden Harvest Food Bank announcing their annual spring campaign. For many years, I have directed all my charitable contributions, though small, to Golden Harvest because of my admiration for the great bang for the buck they provide.

Even in these difficult times, when more people need help and each of us is having to tighten his or her belt, including contributions, they have been able to hold the line, and provide four meals for every dollar contributed.

I understand that the expansion money was specifically set aside to build the new soup kitchen. I realize the need for space to seat, and equipment to prepare, for the burgeoning group in need. But with all the unoccupied buildings throughout the area (I assume not all the needy are downtown) surely a place could have been adapted for less than $1.5 million.

Whichever fund that money came from, it still represents 4.5 million meals.

Considering today's economic conditions, I wonder if this is the better choice for the use of resources.

Janell M. Lindsey

North Augusta, S.C.

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younameit
224
Points
younameit 02/20/10 - 04:23 am
0
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Janell, as a faithful

Janell, as a faithful supporter, you must have confidence in the wisdom of those who administer this charity. Then why do you assume that those same people would build without considering location (convenience and comfortable accessibility to the needy), functionality, servicability, and economy? Wouldn't your concern (contradictory as it is) have been better addressed to the directors, and thereby avoid the public, negative reflection on a charity you say you support?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/20/10 - 08:47 am
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Food banks do a lot of good

Food banks do a lot of good for people who need them but I have read a few articles recently saying that food bank employees are telling people to go get on food stamps and helping them with the specifics of qualification. I do not think it is their place to encourage people to sponge off of other taxpayers. They should be encouraging emloyment and independence, not dependance.

Currently 1 in 8 Americans are on food stamps. In thinking a lot about this, there is no way this can be sustained financially. Lots of changes are going to be coming soon as local, state and even the federal government find themselves completely broke.

Food banks provide a wonderful charity. Lets keep it at that, charity, not education on how to take money from taxpayers.

corgimom
38385
Points
corgimom 02/20/10 - 08:45 am
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Industrial kitchens need such

Industrial kitchens need such specialized safety and health equipment, it is very difficult to retrofit any building for such a use. All old buildings have plumbing, wiring, asbestos, and mold problems. Build a new facility, let them get just what they want and need.

corgimom
38385
Points
corgimom 02/20/10 - 08:46 am
0
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Chillen, the food banks are

Chillen, the food banks are getting such heavy demands, that they can't meet the demand. That's why they tell them to get food stamps. When the food banks don't have enough food, then what? People go hungry?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/20/10 - 08:49 am
0
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corgi, the people should have

corgi, the people should have saved and planned for a downturn like this. It is not my responsibility as a tax payer to support those who did not plan. I planned, I have saved enough to cover my family for years if our income goes to zero. That is the problem with this country, everyone knows that the govt is their safety net so they don't need to take care of themselves.

brimisjoshan
2
Points
brimisjoshan 02/20/10 - 10:04 am
0
0
younamet, gave a good

younamet, gave a good response. ditto.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 02/20/10 - 04:34 pm
0
0
Chillen, you might need a

Chillen, you might need a slightly broader perspective on many people's ability to set aside money. Not everyone, perhaps not even most, have had your kind of options, and not everyone is probably as brilliant and far-sighted. It's not like our increasingly soulless and competitive consumerism has helped us any along those lines.

Getting food to poor people who need it is the sole mission the food banks, regardless of how they do it. You and the rest of us who earn income are going to pay for food stamps whether food bank employees help people apply for them or not. Donate more to the food bank if you want to slow down food stamp applications.

And get on the Golden Harvest board of directors if you think you've got a better idea about how they should help the poor without costing us taxpayers more money or inconvenience.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/20/10 - 05:48 pm
0
0
Sorry, it's how I feel. We

Sorry, it's how I feel. We started with zero dollars in our wallets, opened a business & made it work. It took years but we did it. Believe me, we sacrificed a lot to save the money we did. We gave up trips, clothes, brand new cars, dinners out, boats, lots of things we wanted. But we did it because it needed to be done and we never once asked for a hand out along the way when things were tough.

I do have a real problem with those who have not put in 110%, have not sacrificed and then expect the govt to back them up. Welfare and food stamps should be temporary and limited in their time frame. The system has set up an entire group of people who don't need to work and many who don't want to work either.

I'm OK with food banks, my comment was not directed to insult them, just comment on the actions of some of them (not sure if Golden Harvest is doing this, if so, they should stop). Food banks are charity driven and people who believe in them can donate to them. I have my own charities and enjoy giving to them. I just have a problem with the govt deciding to take my money by force & then distribute it how they see fit and the food banks are part of the reason this program is expanding.

1 in 8 Americans are on food stamps! In 2008 the cost of the food stamp program was $35 billion. In 2010 it is projected to be over $75 billion!

Check out this article in the NY Times about Food Stamps if you want a real eye opener. Years ago people were ashamed to ask for the handout, now it has no stigma attached to it and people feel "entitled" to it. I'll say it again, we cannot succeed as a nation when there is an entire group of entitled people who are unwilling to work.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/us/11foodstamps.html?hp

Food Banks are there as a charity for the temporarily needy. Anyone can get in trouble on a temporary basis and thank God someone is there to help them. But, it would be great if they didn't push Americans towards programs of government dependence.

Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think I'd be good candidate for this charity's board of directors. It wouldn't be a good match. I believe way too much in independence.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 02/20/10 - 07:44 pm
0
0
Chillen, I don't disagree

Chillen, I don't disagree with much of what you say regarding personal responsibility and industry. I just know that a great many people do without luxuries or much beyond basic necessities because that's all they have to live on, and it doesn't include health care coverage or a vehicle. They have no ability to save and still eat and dress their one or two children. And they won't make enough to generate a decent amount of social security income when they retire.

Things are so different now than they were 25 years ago. People could live modestly but decently with laborer and entry level jobs, especially if both parents worked. Now that allows a family to live in a dangerous neighborhood and qualify for govt aid because of the genuine need. It's not because they choose to be irresponsible, but perhaps because they weren't good at academics, not really able enough to get skilled blue collar job and had no help getting on their feet after high school before getting started with a family.

There are lots of reasons people need help. I have elderly relatives who lost, literally and I'm not exaggerating, millions over the last 2-3 years, even as they tried to pull it out. They are desperately trying to sell vastly over-valued real estate in Florida so that they can have two meals each day at the retirement community they bought into back in the early 1980s. Two meals a day for multimillionaires.

It can happen to you too, even if you are smart, responsible, industrious and a genuinely good guy.

One thing my 94-year-old aunt said to me when it all began to hit the fan for them: "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans."

Mercy is a valuable quality for everyone to cultivate in themselves these days. It's what will let us get through this national mess with the fewest casualties among the people we need, which is pretty much all of us.

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 02/20/10 - 10:14 pm
0
0
Corgimom asks: When the food

Corgimom asks:

When the food banks don't have enough food, then what? People go hungry?

Little Lamb replies:

Fasting is a spiritual blessing, particularly in this season of Lent.

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