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May 29, 2013 08:26 AM

Savage inequalities

Are chowhounders affected by food insecurity? Do chowhounders care about this issue?

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  1. Yes and yes. We've gone to a one income household (my 3 jobs) after my H's stroke, and we've had to eliminate a lot of less expensive foods (pasta, rice, beans) because he's a Type 2 diabetic. Keeping meals satisfying and healthy is a challenge for me. But we're luckier than some in that I have work, so we try to give/volunteer at our local food pantry as much as we can.
    How about you, nasilemak?
    By the way, I found the comments beneath the article to be fascinating.

    25 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      Good for you for thinking about the less fortunate. I personally find it hard to justify making big splurges on meals in light of disturbing reports like this.

      1. re: nasilemak

        Nasilemak, if we eliminated occasional cheer from our lives because of every injustice in the world, we should just as soon take a flying leap off a bridge and end it. Do what you can, when you can, be judicious with your dollars and your votes, but by all means, live with joy.

        1. re: pinehurst

          Yes, i enjoy and value good food and creative cuisine like everyone else, but within reasonable means which is of course a relative thing. For me, splurging well over a hundred bucks per person on a meal seems pretty excessive to me.

          1. re: nasilemak

            Then you should avoid doing so. Donate it instead if you have it.

            1. re: nasilemak

              So is the cut-off amount $100 per person? $80? $50? Can one offset it by making a donation (I gave $20 to a soup kitchen, therefore I can have a $120 meal tonight)? What about other "splurges"? Should I not have a nice house/car/vacation/clothes because others are hungry? You are correct in that it is all relative, therefore we can't judge anyone else on what they do or do not spend. CH'ers seem to be a pretty generous bunch and more knowledgable than most on the value of their donations to food banks and such. I hope no one is suggesting that because we visit this site to discuss cuts of beef and fancy restaurants that we don't care.

              1. re: nasilemak

                I have limits, not hard and fast, on what I'm comfortable spending in restaurants. But THAT has nothing to do with people in this country going hungry. THAT has to do with my personal financial comfort zone. I guess I still don't see how one relates to the other.

              2. re: pinehurst

                Absolutely, live with joy. I think I'll tattoo that on my arm!

                Most people who have experienced difficulty of any kind will tell you that they want their situation to be temporary. A time in their life they'd like to move past. There aren't too many people (including the very wealthy) who haven't experienced financial insecurity of one type or another. Just some longer than others.

                But, if we didn't have inequalities who would be in the position to help those who need it NOW?

                The stats of charity tell us that middle income folks give more then the wealthy. That's community working together. However the mega rich build and maintain the buildings we donate our food stuffs too. So tell me where is the disconnect? We can all do our part but there will never been a time of equality or a time when charity work will dry up.

                1. re: HillJ

                  "The stats of charity tell us that middle income folks give more then the wealthy. "

                  As a percentage of income. What's pretty amazing is that's true even though for the past couple of decades, the middle class has become poorer and the wealthiest have a much bigger piece of the pie.

                  1. re: mcf

                    All true and yes a big surprise to everyone who follows the money. But, that doesn't change the "other" reality that the wealthy build the art centers, keep the host bldgs maintained for non profits and contribute millions to npo's each year.

                    So a $10.00 a txt has significant impact multiplied across the globe. And, $10 million keeps an infrastructure in place.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Lets not forget that as many of the wealthiest people get older they donate very large percentages of their wealth to NPO's and in death leave the rest to NPO's. These numbers have reached into the Billions.

                        1. re: NonnieMuss

                          And, don't forget that each year each state goes through an audit process to access the financial health of npo's that have not filed any 990's with the IRS; especially foundations. And what the auditors discover is how many foundations are empty of funds.

                          Follow the money that supports your favorite charity and then decide how you want to contribute. Sometimes giving your TIME is more valuable.

                        2. re: Tom34

                          If you're following my train of thought, you'll read that I not only haven't forgotten the wealthiest citizens but I've endorsed their contributions to this issue over and over.

                          We can also be inspired by the school teacher, bus driver and janitor who spent their whole lives saving only to leave their millions to their elementary school or city park.

                          So yes-research & discover who the charitable are..and then be inspired to follow suit!

                          1. re: HillJ

                            I have been following your train of thought and I think unlike many, you have been fully inclusive, very fair and quite accurate.

                            1. re: Tom34

                              I have some incredible generous mentors to thank for that.

                          2. re: Tom34

                            That doesn't really change the fact that most of the wealth has been concentrated among a smaller and smaller percentage as middle class status has stagnated or declined overall.

                            Most of it is passed down to heirs.

                            And that's just the money we can account for; the wealthiest have it stashed all over the globe, evading scrutiny and taxes.

                            1. re: mcf

                              "Middle class in decline".............The middle class in the US was largely created by the need to rebuild the World after WWII. Since the US was the only major industrial nation that still had a fully functioning industrial infrastructure, the job was largely ours and the standard of living for the average worker reached levels most never dreamed of. Unfortunately, the rebuilding was a double edged sword and we are now in a global economy for which we are increasingly unable to compete and our unprecedented lifestyles are becoming unsustainable. Most economists place the turning point around 1970.

                              1. re: Tom34

                                We are way off topic in this discussion. I'll agree to disagree about the various contributions to this phenomenon.

                          3. re: HillJ

                            Okay, that was kind of my point, that real dollars come overwhelmingly from those also less generous in relation to their wealth.

                            It feels as though you are arguing points I haven't made.

                            1. re: mcf

                              Who's arguing points? I'm underlining the balance that exists. In charity the idea of inequality is part of the misnomers, mcf.

                              If I'm not clear..all contributions matter. The big picture, the day to day operation get their funding from diff sources at diff times in the life cycle of a non profit operation.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Folks, all of this is getting way far afield from anything to do with food. We'd ask that you let this part of the discussion go. Thanks!

                    2. re: nasilemak

                      I don't.

                      I volunteer and donate often and generously to hunger relief.

                      And I care about my health, enjoyment and the quality of food I eat.

                      Shopping and eating out support a lot of jobs held by folks with hunger problems (I hate that stupid "food insecure" jargon), people are *hungry* and *malnourished*. I think that's stronger and more accurate language.

                      I don't see how my pulling dollars out of a part of the economy supporting jobs that are held or attainable by many at risk folks will help them. A strong economy lifts all boats, and in the U.S., personal spending makes a huge contribution.

                      1. re: nasilemak

                        I'd suggest that unless you're taking the money that you're not spending and donating to hunger-aid programs, then what's accomplished?

                      2. re: pinehurst

                        Over the years, I have lost my business, my marriage, and spent my investments. I still live pretty darn good on the $750 per month I currently earn. Would love a minimum wage job.

                        I know how to double or triple my purchases based on time of week and buying seasonal. Scratch and dent produce is a mainstay. Living on a boat without a fridge, I do not give in to buying 5 gallons of mayo at Sam's, or the 1 kilo blocks of imported cheese at B.J.'s. I eat out more often now then back in the good old days. And am back to playing golf. Nobody telling me it is a waste of money.

                        Do I want anybody's pity or charity? No. Do I care about other people in my community? Depends. There is/was a community service in the U.S. Army that would loan money for unforseen emergencies or drowning in debt. I knew the lady that ran it at one Army base. She would have them empty their pockets and purses, and then search their car. Alcohol or tobacco and you were instantly denied. Should your give up your electronic devices before giving up food? I use library PCs which is why my participation here is so spotty.

                        And due to the church and social services in my area with professionals donating dental, medical, and daily meals, you may lose weight, but you will not starve except by choice. That includes the children who get subsidized meals at school. We have a non-profit that takes care of them through the summer.

                        This from a part of the state that is a TEA Party and conservative stronghold. So there goes that stereotype.

                      3. USA has the fattest poor people in history. Peeps may be malnourished from poor food choices, but nobody dies of starvation here.

                        22 Replies
                        1. re: mwhitmore

                          That's totally untrue. The poor have the distinction of being obese while severely malnourished. Not due to poor choices alone, but due to the fact that fattening, non nourishing food is both cheapest and most available.

                          If you've ever spent as much time as I have volunteering in a food bank or visiting soup kitchens, they mostly have fattening, starchy, sugary foods.

                          I always make a point of donating proteins, but it's a drop in the ocean.

                          Many of the poorest have no cooking facilities.

                          That's not a choice.

                          1. re: mcf

                            So true about food pantries. Once in a while, you'll see a jar of peanut butter, but canned tuna, salmon, mackerel, or soy beans are all very scarce. Huge bags of rice and huge boxes of corn cereals are plentiful.

                            1. re: pinehurst

                              Yes, pasta, rice, crackers, cereal, canned fruit, juices.

                              I always go to Costco and buy cans of tuna, salmon, even that canned chicken stuff, beans, PB.

                              Some food banks can store frozen poultry, which can be very cheap on sale, too.

                              1. re: mcf

                                I think that's awesome. So creative.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  Whenever I shop for the food pantry, I love to "make" a meal in my head with the stuff I'm getting, and am half tempted to throw in a recipe card. I just assume that people who need the food pantry also want tasty food (I'm pretty sure my tastes wouldn't change very quickly if I found myself in that situation.) It may be foolish, but I'll throw in stuff like tuna, canned green beans, canned potatoes, and olives, and think "Hey, they can almost make a salade Nicoise with this." At least I hope they can.

                                    1. re: Isolda

                                      I do much the same, planning meals in my head when I shop for food pantry donations. I've taken it a step further and started including recipe cards for quick, easy to prepare meals that use the ingredients I've donated, since I know from experience that time can be as big a factor as money in healthy eating choices and not everyone has the well-outfitted kitchen or the skills I have which help me cut down on time.

                                2. re: mcf

                                  Mwhitmore said, I quote, "nobody dies of starvation here."

                                  There's truth to that. The poor Americans may suffer from the ill effects of bad diet but they aren't dying of starvation for the most part. I won't try to cliam that *no one* dies of starvation in the US as I'm sure there are genuinely malnourished people who, for whatever reason, also don't have access to the food banks.

                                  I've lived overseas in a variety of countries, including Indonesia, and have traveled through many second and third world countries. Many of the *genuinely* poor in those countries have exceedingly limited diets, based on rice/pasta/starch, little vegetables, hardly any meat. Yet somehow they've avoided the obesity problem for the most part.

                                  The poor health of poorer Americans has always been a controversial topic. People will claim it's due to lack of access to healthier food, but that's not necessarily the case. A lot of is simply due to self-preference and a lack of education. Supermarkets in poor urban neighborhoods will tell you that fresh produce simply doesn't move anywhere as quickly as in more affluent areas. I've volunteered in food banks before and have heard the same: food that we deem "healthier" stays on the shelves much longer than the starchier, unhealthier food.

                                  1. re: Roland Parker

                                    Don't exclude the cost of produce in supermarkets. Ethnic and discount markets selling produce at lower prices find an audience in poor urban neighborhoods...and the middle to upper middle class who know a bargain when they see one.

                                    What you consume (on any budget, on any continent) is where obesity reins.

                                    People can die of neglect.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      Not to mention the usurious prices in the supermarkets that typically specialize in "poor urban neighborhoods" with no competition for those meager dollars.

                                  2. re: mcf

                                    I've posted this before on other threads, but I think it always bears repeating. Every food bank I've volunteered with or read about prefers cash donations. They can get far more food with $1 than we can buy at the grocery store. Donating food is great, donating the same amount in cash is even better.

                                    For years my local food back struggled to distribute fresh produce and meat. They were getting lots of donations of seconds from local farms, but didn't have a way to store perishable items. Cash donations helped them buy a walk in freezer a refrigerator. Now they can accept the massive post-holiday frozen turkey donation, and distribute them as needed for months.

                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                      Thanks. I've probably read your earlier posts. For some reason, there's a warm and fuzzy thing about giving canned goods that green paper money doesn't seem to conjure up. I wish more people would consider that.

                                      1. re: mpjmph

                                        That isn't true of my local, regional food bank, but it may be true of smaller operations, with less warehouse space, staff and fewer trucks. In fact, they've set up satellite locations and even mobile food distribution vehicles to get that stuff out there where there is the most need more efficiently.

                                        As I've said before, I donate both food and dollars. And I don't donate the cheap, starch and sugary crap that they buy or get (from participating supermarket corporations) as donations by the pallet.

                                        I think the important thing here, as HillJ and I have emphasized, is to know the charity well before giving it anything.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          Spot on, mcf! It's all about researching what works best for your area. When I write a check, I'm doing so as a local fundraiser. In the last ten years, I've donated handmade quilts for raffle, weekends @ my BnB at silent auctions and donated my workshop fees in lieu of payment. I like to write a 'big' check; one that represents the contributions of say 50-100 people. So, what I do is offer fundraising skills.

                                          Twice a year, I call a corporation and ask for a large inkind donation of goods to be freighted to my county food bank. I pay the shipping, they donate the goods.

                                          Lots of ways to get involved and be creative in the process.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            You raise a point I haven't addressed at all. I worked for years w/ the events coordinator and took a lot of responsibility for silent auctions, from donating items to soliciting them, packaging them and coordinating wrapping and delivery to venues.

                                            Between donating, bidding, coordinating as a volunteer before and at events, sending money and bringing food, the charity gets support. Some folks can't afford to donate dollars, but they do valuable office and other work for free.

                                            Charities need it all.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              Event coordinator was a fortunate staffer. Time givers have as much if not more value. And the hour wage placed on time giving volunteers in grant apps is utilized in countless ways. Concrete value is actually calculated:

                                              Clearly you know how much effort goes into events and fundraising campaigns.

                                              I enjoy it.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                Yes, though more through my volunteer activity than my own time running a npo.

                                                Organizations have to show that they make strong efforts to utilize various resources and income streams when writing grant apps.

                                                I enjoyed it a LOT more when working with an extraordinary, very young 20 something special events coordinator. We really did it UP.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  I'm surprised when volunteers don't realize their time has value (literally) placed upon it. This type of validation to volunteer engagement is crucial...and for many volunteers makes their time giving a viable option.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    Definitely. I was the business manager for a while at a country library system in a small town. We kept scrupulous records of our volunteers' and it was a definite line item in grant applications. So it's "just" the work they do (which is huge) but also how that can get parlayed into green. I just read that our local food bank just got a $75k grant from Walmart.

                                          2. re: mcf

                                            My local food bank is actually one of the largest in the country, with 6 warehouses, and serves 500,000 people each year. And they still prefer cash. Most of the food donations are rice and pasta. They use the cash donations to improve infrastructure, and to buy meat and fresh produce. So really, we're arguing the same side here. What it really boils down to is what each organization needs. I just know that they don't need more Campbell's, Chefboyardee, or canned green beans, which is what most people are donating.

                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                              We sure agree about food it preferable. One of the really useful organizations in this area is called Island Harvest: they pick up surplus fresh foods from commercial kitchens, hospitals, restaurants, stores as I recall their beginnings. You'll also see how much emphasis they place on food donations, to capture what's free for the taking and delivering, along with funds and volunteerism. This is not the organization I volunteered for, but one I admire:

                                      2. re: mwhitmore

                                        We may not have people dying of starvation in great numbers, but we definitely have people dying from poor nutrition. Not to mention lost work and productivity from diet related diseases.

                                      3. There are very effective PSAs where I live promoting food banks. The statistics of those who are battling hunger, and I agree that "food insecurity" term if BS and minimizes what's happening, is real and large. Just recently I started a monthly donation to our local food bank. It's not very much money but when you realize they can provide multiple meals for every dollar donated, my small contribution matters. And, no, why should I feel guilty when I go out to a nice restaurant. As others mentioned, those places provide jobs for people. In addition, how can my going out deprive anyone of food? I don't see any dot connectability here.

                                        38 Replies
                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          A cash donation to a food bank, no matter how much, is huge, c oliver, in the good it does.

                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                            It can do a lot more than donating food which, let's face it, is a matter of donating things that we don't want to eat. I believe it was last Saturday that the post office collected bags from our homes with food donations in them. I really did try to NOT do that this time. A can of tomatoes, a can of chicken broth, tuna, etc. And, honestly, that monthly donation is painless. It's set up as an automatic debit from my checking account.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              " It can do a lot more than donating food which, let's face it, is a matter of donating things that we don't want to eat."

                                              I don't think so; I mean, yeah, there is a problem, especially with that post office collection, of folks putting expired or less than desirable food out.

                                              But a lot of folks have a habit of buying a little extra regularly or making donations like mine.

                                              And cash donations get comingled, cover overhead costs, too. Which good organizations need, but it's not all food dollars.

                                              Food banks need all kinds of donations, and if you donate food items like proteins, you know that's not what the food bank is mostly going to buy, it's too expensive.

                                              It's all good.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Excellent points and I should have thought more before I wrote.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  And I don't want to discourage anyone from donating dollars the way you do, with regular, not holiday support to food banks.

                                                  I send money more often than I buy food, too.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    I wish all grocery stores, all the time, had bins at the checkstands. As you mention, holiday support is easy to come by but year round the need is there.

                                                    Food-related, I discovered Operation Barbeque Relief which deploys to places like Moore, OK. They had a wish list on Amazon. Super easy to buy them a couple of racks to hold disposable gloves. The need is endless and the ways to give are also.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      <I wish all grocery stores, all the time, had bins at the checkstands. As you mention, holiday support is easy to come by but year round the need is there.>

                                                      YES!!! It's a simple, smart idea

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Do you actually know that organization, as worthy? Can't find out much about them from that link. Not rated on I see that they have some news coverage and provide food in several instances, but no way to know what % of contributions goes to salaries and how much to feeding folks.

                                                        I think a donation bin at the end of the register year round is a GREAT idea.

                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                          I don't have concrete info but here's an article:


                                                          It appears there are no salaries. All of them are competitive barbequers who got this idea two years ago. They just go where they're needed. But you're right. To be 100% sure, there should/could be more info.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              It sounds great, but I got sucked into monthly donations to and am totally leery until I see financial reports posted on an organizational web site, IRS filings, etc.
                                                              And independent reviews.

                                                              I don't donate to the Red Cross, ever, either. No centralized oversight and they fund raise like crazy in the name of a particular tragedy, but hold money back.

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                Excellent points. We give to our food bank and also to Heifer Intl and I only did that one after Sam Fujisaka 'blessed' it.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  Thanks. I saw that. Since they only started two years ago and the donations seem modest, is their reporting to the IRS (or the fact that it appears that they haven't) constitute a question mark in your mind?

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    No it does not. After application, a 501c3 is put on a five year probation period under the guidelines of the IRS designation in order to raise funds and determine if they will remain a public charity. If after five years they raise enough to warrant tax exemption they are given a formal designation.

                                                                    Coupled with the monetary levels of annual 990 filing, it is not unusual at all for a start up to take time to grow.

                                                                    I should also mention that Joe Public must also register with Guide Star to see the full history (every page) of a charity file (public record). So, if you don't have an account with GStar, you aren't seeing all the data.

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      Oh goody :) I'm glad I "bought" those holders for the disposable gloves! I really appreciate your taking the time to educate us about this. Thanks again.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        No problem, co. I've taken enough npo management courses to know the details. My Fed days (career #1) required it.

                                                              2. re: mcf

                                                                Just a brief bit about Charity Navigator. It is the charities/npo's that supply the information to CNav not the other way around.

                                                                If you want a to do your homework before donating to any registered npo use Guide Star.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  But some don't provide any. That's a red flag for me. I do use more than one, and I think I came across that when researching. Good advice.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    That's because the charity has to agree to be registered on the CN site. They sign an agreement and even though all public charities should be avail thru public records not all are. Some fall under an annual dollar amt that makes them only responsible for e-filing which means their 990 won't be in the record.

                                                                    Best policy for a consumer to feel comfortable with a public charity is to ask them for a copy of their 990 or end of the year report and then make the choice.

                                                                    Any public charity worthy of donations (inkind or $) would be happy to share public records. It's one form they should have on file.

                                                                    But hundreds of federally exempt 501c3's raise far below the requirement of a 990 filing and that doesn't mean they aren't worthy of support or that a CN or Guide Star listing provides some guarantee.

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      I don't think I ever suggested that anything is a guarantee. What I said was that the bbq charity had scant information on their site and elsewhere and that raises a red flag for me.

                                                                      Choosing not to put info on CN is a red flag, since it is the most widely recognized.

                                                                      I want to see annual reports on org. sites, too.

                                                                      If I don't, there are plenty I can donate to who do, there's lots of need everywhere.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        No you didn't suggest that at all but if anyone reading along believes that a site like CN is researching charities and not just uploading what is provided by the actual charity they would be mistaken. It's not a red flag. Some charities do not want their board members info on the Internet. Some charities wouldn't qualify to fill out a form because their annual donations are below the requirement of 990 filing (& they e-postcard file to the IRS). My point is that if the charity isn't registered with CN or others that it is not a red flag. And, there will always be plenty of charities that need us. The ones that need us most usually fall way below the radar of CN and even Guidestar by no fault of their own.

                                                                        Plenty of charities that have disappointed the public can be found on CN too.

                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                          HillJ, you explained that so well and I appreciate it. And I apologize if I caused this to go OT. Maybe we can get back to the OPs question?

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              Nope. We all go a little 'off' at times :)

                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                            I discovered the disqualifying problems with Modest Needs on CN, that was kind of my point.

                                                                            If I can find voluntary disclosure vs. none, the one providing none gets red flagged by me unless I have personal knowledge of its operations. Your standard may differ.

                                                                            I'm a former npo administrator.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              Then you know just asking the charity for their financials, end of the year report, or a visit to the charity (if possible) is super simple. I don't need to preach to the choir :)

                                                                              But the general public either doesn't think to ask or is unwilling to ask. Public records only get you so far anyway. What's asked on a 990 is far less telling then just getting familiar with a charity directly.

                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                Yes, I'm very aware that there is little fiduciary responsibility too often, and one is up to one's own conscience, which is in short supply, IME.

                                                                                That's why I'm so leery.

                                                                                I make every effort to know the charities I donate to very well. That means a lot of them are on the small size, or well known to me over many years.

                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                  That's awesome, mcf. Maybe your example will have a ripple for others. I tell my clan all the time, volunteer first then donate. Visit their field work, then donate. Sit on a committee or board, then donate. If you really want to follow your donation dollar get your feet wet then your checkbook handy.

                                                                                  It's really that simple.

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    Some that I cannot know well, I still feel comfortable donating to, large ones like Heifer, Doctors Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity, though not my local chapter, due to less than ideal financial disclosures.

                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                      Knowing a specific national charity does come down to also knowing the specific local chapter-always. And the "home office" 990 doesn't break down the indv. chapters financials well enough, so yes-you are so right on that it is vital to know your local npo.

                                                                                      Here's what I do, I make an appt to meet the Board. I sit in on a board meeting. I find that is very telling.

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    The worst time is the summer, when the kids are not in school to receive their free or reduced price breakfasts and lunches, and there aren't the huge food drives you see during the holiday season.

                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                      Many school districts are serving free lunches in various city parks for children up to age 18 to combat this problem

                                                                      1. re: enbell

                                                                        That's great to know. Wonder where they get the money.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Valuable support for this program comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Idaho State Department of Education, AmeriCorps VISTA Program and some generous private funders. Including DirectTV, Craig Stein Beverage Group, Fredricksen Health Insurance and Regence BlueShield of Idaho just to name a few.

                                                                        2. re: enbell

                                                                          Best part is its a product that has to be eaten and can't be converted to anything else.

                                                        2. I care about it, but consider it but one aspect of the general problem on increasing inequity in the US economy. A lot of people struggle to get by, and more than used to.

                                                          1. I wonder if this research funded by big oil included surveying the millions of illegals in the US who get up every day and perform jobs that nobody else wants to do and still have $ to send home to their families?

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                              My search led to Pew Charitable Trust on this data:

                                                              Like I said without the mega wealthy there would be no charitable trust.

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                I have a relative who became very good friends with J. Howard Pew when he was in charge of building his oil sands operation in Alberta and later went on to head his company.

                                                                J.H.P. was one of the most conservative business men of his time. If he was President, nobody would be hungry or suffering from malnutrition and nobody would be watching daytime TV until full retirement age.

                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                  I'm very comfortable with the Pew Charitable Trust. Their impact on specific donor programs is significant.