Get Off Your Butt To Make a Buck
Good things come from the beautiful state of Maine. (I met the nicest lady visiting Trig's school yesterday for our "Lunch With a Loved One" reading event, all the way up here from Maine to visit grandkids, representing her state so graciously!) Good stuff from the Pine Tree State, including some tough love to restore work ethic.
Well isn't that sweet? Mom came to visit at Trig's school.
Well it would be if she then did not use at an opportunity to link to a Nancy French written post over at Brancy's blog, which cheers Maine Governor Paul LaPage's decision to require food stamp recipients without children to get a job or lose benefits.
In the post French applauds the fact that LaPage managed to kick 80 percent of the people off of the program, claiming that they must not have needed the help in the first place.
However what they seemed to have missed was the fact that charitable organizations in Maine have been working overtime in order to fill the gap.
Courtesy of the Portland Press Herald:
The growth of Good Shepherd and other charitable organizations shows how far government efforts are falling short, and the transformation of emergency interventions into permanent institutions is proof that Maine’s weak response to hunger is making the problem worse.
How big is the problem?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are approximately 206,000 Mainers who experience food insecurity, the term for those who don’t have enough money to reliably get their hands on an adequate supply of safe, nutritious food.
That number includes 24 percent of Maine’s children and 23 percent of its seniors. Maine ranks 12th in the nation for this measure of hunger, and first – or worst – in New England.
But while the problem grows, the state’s response has been to pull back, using government policy to reduce the number of people who receive aid through entirely federally funded programs, leaving money in Washington that could be helping people here and putting more pressure on individuals who support charities and whose consciences won’t permit them to turn their backs.
“We’re no longer for emergencies. We’re a regular supplier of people’s food,” said Kristen Miale, Good Shepherd’s president, in a recent interview with the Maine Sunday Telegram. “Food banking isn’t the solution to hunger.”
I guess the folks behind the Good Shepherd understand the concept of being a good Christian.
What a shame that not all of those hiding behind that label recognize the responsibility.