In a post from January, http://juwannadoright.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/just-add-a-little-water-to-the-soup/ I spoke of how my grandmother, mom and aunt survived the Great Depression. Food was both scarce and sacred. I will never forget grandma saying at dinner, “Now eat everything because there are children in China who are starving.” I always took her admonition seriously and my plate was always clean.
It still bothers me today when food is wasted.
When I lived in Chicago, an acquaintance who was a public school teacher told me that in his school, the milk which was provided at luncheon for the students which went unconsumed was dumped at the end of the day.
“Dumped,” I asked. “You mean thrown out?”
“Yes,” he replied.
This bothered me immensely on several levels.
First, of course, was the sheer waste. Second, why couldn’t the unopened cartons be gathered up and distributed to children who were poor? I’ve bought a few gallons of milk in my time and I know that they usually come with a ten day to two week expiration before the milk sours. Third, the National School Lunch Program has been an ongoing Federal program since 1940. This program subsidizes the distribution of milk to school children and that subsidy is paid for by the taxpayers. What an incredible waste of taxpayer money.
I asked my acquaintance if he knew why the milk was thrown out rather than given at no cost to children who needed it. He responded that he thought that it had something to do with liability should the milk turn out to be bad.
Of course, the illogic of that statement stunned me. We apparently didn’t worry about the liability of selling it to our school children at a low price but were afraid that children who received it for free might wind up suing the Federal government.
Well, I took this as merely another sign of bureaucratic bungling – and surely, if we are looking for ways to trim fat and waste from government, this is, to use a metaphor in keeping with our subject, really “small potatoes.”
And then today I read a story about a woman near Philadelphia who is being threatened with fines of $600 per day because she is distributing food for free that is provided by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to needy children in her neighborhood.
This is the link to that story:
I don’t care if you’re a union worker, an entrepreneur, a secretary, between jobs, a temporary worker; I don’t care if you’re a Libertarian, Democrat, Republican or an Independent; I don’t care if you’re an Anglican, a Jain, a Muslim, an agnostic, an atheist or a Shinto; if you have an ounce of reason I hope you will agree that this is merely another example of “Government Gone Wild.”
At a time when many of us are struggling; when we have three and one half years of the worst levels of unemployment since the Great Depression; when an increasing number of our citizens are dependent on subsidies for their mere existence and the numbers sinking below the poverty level are escalating; it is hard to describe the position of the Pennsylvania Township’s council as being anything other than, “Beyond Stupidity.”