How Much Does Washington Think It Can Squeeze Food Banks?

September 8, 2014 at 5:33 PM Leave a comment

HELP A FOOD BANK

NEAR YOU TODAY

Regular readers here know that I volunteer once a week at a food bank here in Boulder, Colorado.  I started there in February, 2009 after spending four years sitting at a computer working on Outfoxed and at the Newshounds.  I needed to be around people!  Volunteering there has been one of the sweetest experiences of my life.

Anyway, thanks to the banks crashing the economy (enabled by government policies), deficit reductions austerity measures and just plain no community relief whatsoever coming out of Washington, food banks are increasingly being asked to take up the slack in providing services.  People are being priced out of affording a decent living in our new low wage society and non-profits who already operated on a shoestring budget are expected to do more and more and more.  It is getting so bad, my food bank is even soliciting donations from its volunteers.  Get a load of this part of a letter I got on Friday:

As you know, [our food bank] been a vital community resource for 96 years.  Last year we conducted 17,975 face-to-face client interviews; distributed 671,230 pounds of food; provided $813,101 in direct financial assistance; and provided short-term or transitional housing to 145 families staying in our 51 apartments.  The demand for our services continues to grow.

[…]

Each year it becomes increasingly difficult to find adequate funds to support the great work that you help us do every day. Less government support, increasing demand for services, job growth primarily in low-wage arenas and more nonprofits competing for fundraising dollars make it very challenging to find necessary resources.

How long do the bubbleheads in Washington think they can continue to squeeze organizations like the one I volunteer for?  Eventually the donating public runs out of steam as more and more nonprofits ask for donations.  Then the non-profits have to compete for the scraps.

But hey, we apparently have billions of dollars to suddenly spend on a new (three year?) war against ISIS.  This really is an endless war, isn’t it?  If ISIS (and the new iterations of it that will inevitably develop after we crush what’s there now) wants to destroy us, maybe they should hang out and wait a bit because we’re doing a good job of committing slow-motion suicide as a country on our own.

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Entry filed under: At the Food Bank, Financial Crisis.

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