Tuesday, November 9, 2010

stamps II

This is a game of "spot who's missing". Here's an advertisement for an event I considered going to this evening (and did not because it would have taken me 3 hours to get there and back):
"Food Stamped" is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget...The event will kick off with a light reception at 5:00 pm followed by the 60-minute documentary debut. Thereafter, a closing discussion amongst Co-star Shira Potash and Montefiore physician participants in the Food Stamps Challenge will close the evening.
So...what's missing in this picture? Ah yes, here we have another conversation about hunger and anti-poverty measures without actual hungry and poor people. Instead, we use the short-term, voluntary experiences of deprivation of some well-meaning folks of means to start the discussion. I don't deny the value of things like the Food Stamps Challenge in raising awareness, but I wonder what their ultimate impact is if these experiences of food insecurity don't lead directly to interaction with people who are actually food-insecure. I have much more respect for initiatives like Witnesses to Hunger (where my friend Kyle is currently working) that let folks in poverty tell their own stories rather than having them told through outsiders or, even more removed, through outsiders trying to temporarily experience a taste of what it's like to be poor.

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