2014-05-01 – Happy May Day.
May Day is a labor holiday that got its start right here in Chicago. You might not have realized that since the Commie Reds in the Soviet Union made it a big military celebration. You might say they stole the holiday from us. But it got its start May 1, 1886, in a labor demonstration held in Chicago to demand an eight-hour workday. The demonstration and police response got out of control, to say the least, and culminated in the Haymarket Square Riot on May 4 . . .
But that’s not what I want to write about today. Today I want to write about today. Today I want to write about a program called “Child Hunger Ends Here,” that is sponsored by ConAgra and P&G, two large corporations. You can find a code on their products and enter it into the Helping to End Child Hunger website, and ConAgra and P&G will donate the price of one meal to Feeding America, a pretty decent charity that . . . feeds the hungry in America.
The thing that makes this interesting (aside from the good work it will do), is that it highlights the debate over whether the government or private enterprise can do better in fighting hunger. In the last year, cuts have been made in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. As a matter of record, Feed America is a strong supporter of SNAP and other public assistance programs.
Can a private program like the ConAgra Child Hunger Ends Here make a dent in the problem?
In 2013, over 47 million people in the United State participated in the SNAP program (the number of recipients close to doubled as a result of the Great Recession that started in 2008) to a tune of over $76 million dollars.
An awful lot of people are going to have to purchase ConAgra and P&G products to even equal a tiny percentage of this. It’s nice that it’s happening, though. According to Feeding America, SNAP assistance is inadequate to feed a family. Private charity has to make up the difference.
The American system of private enterprise tries to squeeze every last dollar out of the land and out of its workers and customers. They reject the labor momement that, until the last 30 or 40 years, made great strides toward the eradication of hunger in America. They reject government efforts as socialist.
It may be. But it is also Biblical law. In Leviticus 23:22, we are told “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”
I suppose ConAgra’s and P&G’s program is one way to leave gleanings to the poor, in a limited way. So is the SNAP program.
Happy May Day!
And remember, there’s only five months until Diogenes Day. I first wrote about Diogenes Day on April Fools Day of 2013. The idea was that, if we have a day devoted to tricking people, shouldn’t we have a day devoted to the truth? I proposed October 1 for the celebration. If you think this is a cool idea, let people know.
Here are some other links for those of you curious about Diogenes Day (I’m assuming you are new around here):
90 More Shopping Days (July 3)
Diogenes Day Is Coming (Sept. 15)
Truth About Diogenes Day (Sept. 26)
Diogenes Day Is October 1 (Sept. 29)