Still it's probably easier to control than thousands of separate restaurants and food markets, which is undoubtedly their thinking: centralize food distribution to minimize risky contact.
This is a sobering reminder of how dependent city dwellers are on a just-in-time food distribution network; most Manhattan apartments don't have a lot of storage space for an extended hunker down, nor room for a garden and chickens.
Same cafeteria workers as always, same types of menus.
The biggest change in logistics seems to be that all the meals are now to-go, so goodbye trays, hello bags.
In theory everyone's supposed to be lining up 6 feet apart.
In practice... well, NYC grocery store aisles are some of the narrowest corridors you'll ever encounter in your life, and there often isn't even space to line up for a cashier.
So social distancing in supermarkets is a total joke. But the alternative is starving to death, since the grocery delivery services are all sold-out. So people line up for food wherever they go.
Of course you also need money to buy food for weeks, easy to say to others buy this and that)
For example, a comment in one of these postings on HN was talking about how the manufacture of essential supplies was continuing and robust (even I've made a similar comment some time ago). But... ok... how much of the logistics capacity, the capacity of hauling those essential products from the factory to the final buyer is being impacted? And it's not just trailer cubic feet availability that's at issue... it's are those containers available in the right place at the right time? Greater cubic feet available for essential products in fewer overall containers is still a potential major problem. I have to think that a fair portion of the common carriers are dependent on a mix of "essential" and "non-essential" goods for their business and that some of these common carriers are marginal even during the "good times". Fewer trucks/trains/drivers/etc, mean that getting a truck scheduled to a loading dock on a timely basis is harder, even if available cubic feet for essential goods has risen. If my speculation holds, manufacture of essential goods will be robust, but there will still be shortages at the stores and for buyers simply because shutting down the non-essential has reduced available containers and the bottleneck has shifted to inventory logistics. I can repeat this sort of thing for many different parts of the economy; I went to get a replacement part for a computer keyboard... the company's website said they were closed under county order as a non-essential business.... yet food producers still need to use their computers to ensure they can monitor available shelf-life, etc.
When we see broad pronouncements from politicians and bureaucrats talking about not shutting down essential businesses, I wonder if they appreciate how interconnected the modern economy is and that it doesn't simply break down into "essential" and "non-essential". Perhaps this sort of thing is why I so distrust those that would embrace economic central planning.
1 was a Xiaomi Android box. Another was a vintage video game.
Nobody is getting tested for COVID-19 unless they are symptomatic, or they are rich and get to bypass the normal testing process.
More importantly, testing asymptomatic people every day is just a gross waste of tests...
> According to multiple health and safety organizations worldwide, including the CDC, the USDA, and the European Food safety Authority, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 has spread through food or food packaging. Previous coronavirus epidemics likewise showed no evidence of having been spread through food or packaging
They're an extremely scarce resource better used elsewhere.
Now, it would also be great if there was a way for the city to set up a voucher system to support the local restaurants as well, so that they'll be able to survive this crisis.
That would be nice, but it's absolutely not happening. Even if Cuomo's“screw the rest of the country and give us all the supplies until our peak is past” had gotten a positive response, there wouldn't be sufficient test kits and other resources to collect and process those tests.
It's going to rely on servers not showing symptoms and using PPE and other safety procedures, not daily testing.
We'd be so much better off as a society if we could at least keep our people fed.
The comments in here seem a little negative currently but this is great news. Think of all the people in NYC who didn't have access to clean and regular food before the virus.
Please note I am not saying the system is perfect, shouldn't be expanded, or is beyond criticism in some way. I just think that a more nuanced conversation is warranted if we're going to talk about these sorts of things.
This is not enough.
I just went and put some really sad numbers into a calculator and it told me I qualified for $500/mo in benefits for a family of three. This is definitely sufficient to provide three nutritious meals per day for three people anywhere in the country.
If we remove the fear of starvation (we can afford to feed everyone twice and barely put a dent in our military budget) a lot of people will have a HUGE improvement in their day-to-day happiness. This is one of those obvious huge moral positives we can do.
The only "down side" is there will never be fear of starvation.
Edit: The one progress I can see in a society is when we can basically say that certain problems that people may have... those problems just literally won't exist.
- basic housing
- 3 meals a day
- a basic level of health care
with the amount of cash flow in the US there shouldn't be a single person who has to worry about one of those 3.
edit 2: I mean any person who "struggles with hunger" which is ~40 mil. Also, that is in itself a terrifying number.
Just looking at free food, a fundamental question is: Is this expected to be a baseline that all people receive and then people buy additional/better food, or is supposed to be an option where many/most don't take the free food option at all?
If the former, then you risk massive waste. If the free food is mediocre, people will just take it, buy better stuff, and then throw out the crappy stuff. If you solve that with better food, you run into hard questions around the cost and quality ceiling. Food is one of those product areas where you can spend nearly limitless money on it, but it's not feasible for a country to give 100% of its citizens foie gras and cavier every day.
But, of course, deliberately drawing the line somewhere lower has connotations that people who use that food are "bad" because otherwise don't they deserve better food?
If the latter, then you run into the current problem with welfare that the people in power don't use the system at all, which gives you the principle-agent problem we see in welfare today where many people hate funding it because they don't benefit.
Then there are questions of how you manage this logistically. How do you reduce the risk of exploitation? If the government, say, gives out free bags of rice, how do you prevent a restaurant from just grabbing dozens of them and then using them for their food service? But if you spend too much effort on enforcement, then you waste resources on enforcement that could be better spent elsewhere.
It is a hard, complex problem. SNAP today is basically our current stab at it. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that could be swept away and easily replaced with something simpler and clearly better. Problems aways seem much easier when you are far away from them.
First off, no one is saying that we should give 100% of citizens foie gras and caviar.
While I understand your point about there being some stigma attached to funding and/or receiving food assistance, I think it would be lessened if it were freely available to everyone at their discretion. People (rich and poor alike) have certainly had no qualms about receiving unemployment in the current crisis and I think you will see a similar reaction to this food assistance program in New York.
Second, your example of a restaurant taking bags of rice is clearly not an issue with SNAP benefits as they exist in every state, nor is it a possible issue with the program in New York, since they are giving out full meals.
In fact, I expect that the system being trialed in New York will actually solve the issue of people selling or trading away their SNAP benefits, since poor folks just above the cutoff for snap, who would still benefit from food assistance, can just go and get a free meal themselves, rather than trading or buying discounted food from someone selling their SNAP benefits.
327,000,000 people * 365 days * $5/person/day = $596,775,000,000 yearly
Or $596 billion
$693 billion is the Wikipedia number for DoD budget, so that actually checks out.
Of course, that's more than "put a dent in the budget," but I'm sure you meant those in need, and not every American (which is the calculation I did).
I personally despise means testing. There has been so much hatred spewed over "welfare queen" that I am amazed we still do means testing and we have pulled it forward to things like the New York state Excelsior program (college education for first-time college students) and even for the $1,200 COVID-19 stimulus. It is very sad. We don't less means testing, not more.
I also like the idea of UBI combined with a flat tax (losing progressive taxation) for it's simplicity, but imagine all the tax lawyers and accountants that would be out of a job.
1. How would that program handle people who were unwilling to work? Possible answer off the top of my head: maybe they get sent home or terminated from the program for a period of time, and the pay for the "Job Guarantee" job would need to be somewhat more desirable than the benefits received for not working at all (assuming the person is capable of work).
2. How would the program prevent managers with personal bias against particular people on the Job Guarantee program dismissing them so they are sent home to receive the lower paying "able bodied but unwilling to work" pay? Possible solution: Any dismissal is time limited (or exponential, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, then in yearly increments), and also the first 3-4 steps would simply involve a transfer to a different manager. To reduce the likelihood of bias, managers should be representative of the general population in any potentially important characteristics such as gender, race, and also political orientation (Democrat, Republican, or other).
3. What would prevent minimum wage employees from moving to the government jobs program instead? (I'm anticipating a potential Republican question.) Possible answer: the pay would be lower.
4. Does this create any kind of perverse incentives for the government or corporations? "Well, we don't need to care about access to college, or jobs in the US, because everyone has a guaranteed (below minimum wage) job".
A reasonable appeal process and the ability to change managers or move to a different site.
I would build vocational training into this. You are in training either at your choice or as an assignment. Looking for another job would also be acceptable. If you don't have a GED, your only option would be training. I view unemployment as mismatch between the skills you have and the work that needs to be done or there is a slack in demand and we are trying to figure out what to do. I would build a strong scholarship program for those who demonstrate the ability for university level education. You would demonstrate that by your efforts in other training.
Making the pay less than minimum wage I think would be counter-productive. I would eliminate minimum wage and use this as a counter balance to compete with businesses that rely on minimum wage workers.
The main benefit of a Jobs Guarantee is it would be palatable to the 50ish% of voters who are opposed to "handouts" without work. And in theory some of the people who work at these jobs might have more self respect, and might maintain good habits that would let them re-enter the regular workforce in time.
Now, if we did have a Jobs Guarantee and something like 25%+ of people were on it, and there are just no jobs for these people to do even for the general betterment of society at large without any profit motive, then that starts to make a good argument for UBI rather than having people do useless work. Start with letting people on the Jobs Guarantee or other jobs, "retire" at an earlier and earlier age, and/or insert 1-2 months of vacation per year, and/or reduce the number of days worked per week or the number of hours worked per day to receive the benefits.
I am hoping we get a non-means-tested corona $1000 after the shitty one, and then things for UBI pick up for there. If we need a mix of UBI and JG for some time, so be it.
My view is different: public money should go to public good. I don't think that good is served by interfering with markets. If they need $10/hour to justify hiring someone, what is that person going to do for those hours? I think public good is served by training and paying people to deal with collective action problems: failing/at-risk infrastructure, poverty, health care in places with little or no access to it under the private health care and insurance systems, and things like that.
Private companies can be part of that, but the initiative has to be led by the public and the people they elect to lead them, not private interests.
NYC will be able to publish just how many people took advantage of the meals. That's the baseline to price the program out nationwide, not the total number of US citizens.
Any American who didn't take advantage of a demand-driven food supply program on a given month, wouldn't be costing the program anything. It just means that they'd be able to instantly access food when in need, without first qualifying into the program.
Think less "food cash" (like food stamps essentially are), and more "no-limit food credit card" (with the government as the account holder.) You'd just go into a grocery store and buy whatever, and if you couldn't afford it, you'd pay for it with the food credit card (= the government would pay for it.) But if you don't use the card, it isn't accruing or expiring a balance. It's just there, waiting to be used.
One can think of this another way, with a different moral color but the same in-practice effects: imagine if they made shoplifting from grocery stores legal (i.e. every grocery store is now also required to act as a food bank), and the government promised to pay the store back for any shoplifting-related shrinkage. That's essentially what this program would be, except with the store able to track inventory through the till, since the food would still be being "purchased."
If you take my sibling comment about tax effects into account, this means that, as people over-consume a "free" food, and its price rises, they're effectively making larger and larger "purchases" which will have an effect on their taxes.
On the other hand, if it turns out that the food was only expensive because few people were buying it, in a sort of vicious circle—then when everyone buys it, and forces demand up, it'll force supply up, too, and the food will get cheaper for everyone, not just for people who get it "for free."
For example, if it turns out that we only weren't factory-farming caviar because of the low demand, but it's perfectly possible to do so, then we'll just turn into a society that farms and eats a lot of cheap caviar. No market distortion; just "unlocking" market efficiencies we couldn't previously reach, because the demand side didn't previously have the dollars to vote with. Everybody wins!
if we're already assuming people can budget reasonably well, why not go with a UBI-like food stipend and enroll every citizen? calibrate it so people with zero income get a reasonable (possible COL-adjusted) amount to afford a month's worth of healthy meals and phase it out smoothly respective to income. can't really be abused unless you hide your income and also avoids the fiscal cliff.
That, and perhaps the dollar-cost of your "free" food purchases would be taken into account in calculating your tax bracket.
I mean... they'd be told that that would happen in advance. Wouldn't that then serve as an incentive to avoid making a pattern of taking home the more-expensive food? (They could still do it rarely, though. A one-time $50 bump in spending isn't going to affect your taxes.)
Here, people don't have any money or food stamps "burning a hole in their pocket." They just have their own money, and an unlimited line of credit for grocery stores that would "come due" in the form of taxes at the end of the year (but which would only end up costing them anything-at-all if they tried to live beyond their means.)
The only real presumption I'm making here, IMHO, is that people would be too ashamed to buy the "below your means" items (e.g. rice and beans) on this credit, if they didn't have to. Just like people are usually too ashamed to go to food banks if they don't have to.
I will say I'm not a big fan of using shame to gate off this benefit. my intuition is that shame alone is not enough to stop most people from seeing a way to stretch their grocery budget, if they can use it to buy anything they want. if it is effective, then that's only in proportion to how dehumanizing the experience of using it is, which is also kind of shitty.
Feeding America claims to deliver meals at $0.10 each by rescuing food that would've been wasted, and they claim even buying at wholesale would run about $2/meal ($1.67/lb * 1.2lb/meal).
So, $5/day ?
Rescuing wasted food doesn't work once you scale it to a hundred million people.
Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely in favor of a food/housing program that's available for everyone. I am also a communist though, so it's an easy sell for me.
If you have no income/assets, you can get $600+/month for a family of 4.
There are logistical complications around ability to complete the red tape, and personal irresponsibility or access to low-cost options when spending the SNAP money, but big-picture SNAP is fine.
Should people be entitled to spend all their post-tax income on luxuries and get welfare support for basic needs? That's a more extreme position than supplemental support for people with some wealth.
Just throwing that out there.
To be clear, I am against any attempt at population control. I want to keep awareness on the fact that many others do, though.
But we do have a great potential to poison our environment if we don't rein in the pollution.
In my opinion, the US military and the manufacturing industries of China and India by far do the bulk of poisoning the environment and impacting climate change.
I'd much rather have, as a US taxpayer, those assets diverted to healthcare and basic subsistence, too. I'd rather that charities do it, though, and wish it was easier for philanthropy to be more efficiently implemented. We can't even get enough masks out, for cryin out loud.
But damn if we can precision kill someone on the other side of the planet without due process of law! Or find all your domestic social media traffic in October 2016
Everyone always shuts down that second question with "they can't help themselves until their basic needs are met" which is incredibly hand wavy and disingenuous, in my opinion. Half of being poor is in the mind. If poor people are to become middle class people, there needs to be a change in the mind. This change doesn't automatically happen "because money". Changing the mind needs to come from teachers and mentors and the poor person has to want to change and start thinking and acting differently.
If you get everyone reliant on a monolithic omnipotent government, then when said monolithic government fails all of helpless leeches will die (and that could be millions).
I think it's better if we strive for a minimalistic government where members of society strive to be self-reliant and in terms of "safety nets" the government's goal is to promote and encourage self-reliance.
If this is the goal, you need to be pushing to radically restructure the way society and the economy functions. You cannot have everyone employed at, say, $60K a year in the one we have.
Most of the time when people say this, they prefer to focus on individuals rather than systemic issues - "this one person pulled them self up by their own bootstraps - surely others can, too. And "others" can, and do. That leaves people who can't. Now what?
> I think it's better if we strive for a minimalistic government
The problem is capabilities. Libertarian fantasy-states work in frontiers and sometimes in low-population, high-homogeneity areas. As population increases, many public goods need management and public management means the state necessarily takes on more functions. So you need to work on your plan to massively reduce population or get yourself a new planet if this is your goal.
Your desire to drive self-sufficiency by intentionally depriving those in need cannot work in our current world and simply results in performative cruelty.
> Half of being poor is in the mind
Have you been poor? I have have been very poor. I grew up that way. I know what you're talking about, and I suspect you honestly don't understand how condescending and insulting it is.
 Growing up in a very rural town in Tennessee, people used to routinely burn their trash. Try that in San Francisco.
And the bigger point is that (during normal times) SNAP doesn't need to cover 100% of kids meals per month; most meals in a month are already provided for free through school.
The dollar amount itself is fine, but SNAP should be supplemented with basic commodities. Beans, rice, flour, sugar. The prices for these when purchased at the volume of the federal government drop to near nothing.
what exactly are you saying here? I spend about $300/month on groceries and I eat pretty well.
edit: maybe you're still talking about feeding a family of three?
Usually in those financial conditions you also know your time is better spent elsewhere. An extra hour per day practicing for interviews is much better use of your time than cooking. So you do the most efficient thing possible, which is just throw whatever is cheapest per lb into a slow cooker and eat it for the rest of the week. Most stuff is pretty disgusting after a few days in the fridge.
It's probably possible do meal prep cheap/fast/delicious, but I definitely never learned how. Tips appreciated!
You could eat a steak a day at that budget
This is an unbelievable assertion.
That’s $5.48 per meal for 3 people. Have you tried to feed 3 people a consistently nutritious meal on $5.48 per meal everywhere in the country? What is your nutritious meal plan for 3 meals each day, 365 days per year, that doesn’t exceed $500 everywhere in the country? What are the ages and average caloric needs of each of the 3 people in this hypothetical family? How do you maintain $500/mo when, presumably, at least 1 member of the family’s caloric needs will change over time.
I’d love to see the meal plan that works for 2 adults and 1 child for $500/mo, for 18 years, everywhere in the country.
How do you handle snacks with $500/mo—do you just tell people tough luck, you only get to eat at specific mealtime? How do you compensate for the increased caloric need of a child who regularly engages in sports and physical activity—do you just tell them to stay hungry, or tell them they can’t engage in such activities?
So, that's in the neighborhood of $300 a month for dinner. Again, a generous estimate, because really wifey and the kids don't eat half a pound of meat each. Breakfast and lunch are vegetarian, so much cheaper. This is in inner Brooklyn, so not far off from the most expensive food locale in the US. Hawaii is significantly more, but few other places are. We could make it work on $500/month if we had to, for sure.
It was easy to keep myself well fed at a cost far below standard assistance levels.
When I encountered poor people complaining their money ran out, I discovered that some were hostile to the very ideas of thrift, self reliance, or any principals of stoicism.
Also FWIW I'm not saying it's easy to be poor. In many domains it's extremely painful and difficult. But I think we can acknowledge that while also pointing out that meeting food needs using $500 of SNAP benefits is an eminently doable challenge.
I realize I'm too ignorant to confidently propose systemic solutions, but on the education front I do wonder if it would help to offer government financed courses in shopping and budgeting (along with nutrition) bundled with SNAP benefits.
A few times as an adult I've also fallen on hard times and used snap benefits, it was enough for me as a single guy who can cook and knows to eat cheaply, but its hard and not fun.
However where I lived you need a mailing address to get benefits so when I was really down and I was homeless I got no benefits.
That's why this meal program in NYC is so great, it says right at the bottom there is no need for registration, it's actually accessible to everyone.
Here's one sample site:
For a significant number of people that cannot afford to feed themselves, one or more of these are compounding factors.
By providing meals instead of $, this program is much more equitable.
Rentals usually include appliances in N. America.
Thrift store are usually full of small appliances (people shy away from used blenders or used kettles), unmatched cutlery and plates. Pots may be harder to come by, but a large and small one covers most use cases.
Used appliances are usually cheap because of the upgrade treadmill. I understand that coming up with $150 for a fridge or $25 for a hotplate. Maybe we need a better system for those capital costs.
If a person needs a prepared meal they can go to a soup kitchen which is also funded by taxes. Forcing everyone to that model would be really authoritarian. I'd much rather let people get what they want to the extent possible.
You can prep in bulk and fridge/freeze, but you need that space to do it.
Then again, I’ve been eating a lot of rice, dried pulses and stew of whatevers left/on sale lately.
Arguably this is still insufficient, though.
As, a college student with limited funds, I noticed I could keep my daily food costs down to 1$-3$/day range by eating healthily: It's at least 4 times cheaper than eating at mcdonalds. (and this was in CA, one of the most expensive areas) https://kale.world/eating-healthy-is-four-times-cheaper-than...
took 3 seconds to find this by googling "average snap per month". I could find national numbers from secondary sources that cited federal sources but couldn't easily find a hyperlink to those federal sources.
But I am sure just as easy as typing Source? you could find your answer
You can argue that is should cover a recipient's entire food needs but it seems a little misguided to criticize the program for failing to meet an objective it doesn't have. Furthermore, federal programs have to be careful not to do things outside their mandate less they run into territory where they don't have political support and lose funding. SNAP probably couldn't get away with providing the full cost of food even if they were able to.
Saying SNAP isn't enough is pretty clearly a response to the representation.
- Hungry people are not productive to the economy
- Hungry people are more likely to be sick and burden the healthcare system
- Hungry people, if desperate enough, might steal from you
- Hungry children do not learn as well, and become a future burden society needs to carry
If your wages are growing slower than rent/heating/electricity/etc you suddenly have to chip into your hierarchy of needs (as I later found out my parents did)
The problem with programs in the US is often means testing in the US. It is a corrupt system that makes things very difficult for honest people while perpetuating fraud for insiders and friends.
Bureaucrats in NYC (in my case) made it near impossible to get Food Stamps for some time -- then you go to the grocery store and see someone in Nike Air Jordans ($200+ in the 1990s!!!) whip out food stamps. You see people check out with food stamps and go into a BMW in the parking lot. I grew up in South Brooklyn and was constantly infuriated not only at poverty but those who took advantage of systems to combat it -- and corrupt bureaucrats who enabled corrupt users. A lot came down to hidden social clubs of fraudsters.
Obesity is a separate problem. Often the poor don't have access to quality calories, so they fill themselves with the most affordable calories (low priced carbs.) Eating healthy is a luxury.
Fat people =/= healthy distribution system of food.
In fact, trying to understand how such an upside-down false narrative could even exist, is the more interesting aspect of the 'food desert' phenom.
The density of fresh food is indeed lower in some areas, but always within reach. More important, this an issue of supply and demand: food is the most ancient of all commerce. Where people want to buy a food, it will be present. The very premise of 'food desert' is fundamentally flawed from the start. Food is a very competitive, very open, very dynamic, very well understood phenom. There are essentially zero places in America wherein there is truly unfulfilled demand at a basic level. Food stores cover every nook and cranny and balance quite well with demand.
Also - fresh food is the healthiest food, and it's also the cheapest. It requires work to prepare it. Processed and prepared food is the most expensive, and generally less nutritious. Though there are some anomalies (ie milk), food is still cheap.
The price of food has been deflating consistently over time. Just 2 generations ago food might have made up 24% of a HH budget, now it's 1/2 that.
Poverty exists, food insecurity exists, and surely there are some people who can't access what they need, but in general, the 'food desert' things is an invented narrative.
Midwest US, not even truly rural, like in the hills of Kentucky, rural, and the closest grocery store to me is 1 hour away. There are convenience stores, full of sugary snacks. No actual 'food' in you would think of it. When I worked in Tenessee, I was 3 hours from the closest grocery store. The only 'food' stores by your definition were gas stations. Full of. . . sugary, high calorie, low nutrition foods.
North corridor in St. Louis, there is an entire swath of hte city without access to grocery stores, bodegas, or whatever else fills the niche. There are dollar stores filled with ---- sugary snacks and other high calorie, low nutrition foods. There are non-profits who have the only goal of bringing in grocery stores. During the Ferguson riots/uprising (depending on your views) one of the main asks was access to grocery stores. Why do you think that was?
You are pushing a false narrative. Food deserts exist. Your hand waving type of claim is just ridiculous.
Its weird to me since i grew up in Saudi Arabia on a compound, a true food desert and lived off powdered milk, ramen, and other non perishable foods we could buy from the commissary store. There is something like 5000 Walmarts in the US that covers 90% of the population. They have fresh vegetables and fruits all year round.
You need to save somewhere. If you don’t pay rent you become homeless so you focus on less acute cuts — like substituting bread and cereals for salad, etc.
Eating is easy in the US, eating nutritiously is harder if you are on a limited budget.
This is simply not true, it's the other way around. Food has never before been easier to access and cheaper. 
You are more likely to skimp on food than rent. If you skimp on rent, you end up homeless. Sure, initially, you can squeeze into smaller and smaller apartments, but eventually you're homeless. You can skimp on healthcare and education, or you can skimp on food -- where you dont see the effect immediately.
Food being a bargain doesnt help if you have barely anything left over to spend on food.
Secondly w/r/t food quality, as the article mentions, quoted below, some foods have gotten cheaper (sugar, soybeans) while others (meat, eggs) have gotten more expensive. This is another problem being discussed on this thread -- what you get for the money is not really what you need nutritiously. Sure, perhaps you dont starve, but you end up obese from eating the worst sorts of foods.
from artlicle: "That may be true in general terms, and as NPR's Marilyn Geewax reported in February, soybeans, sugar and wheat are all cheaper than they were a few years ago.
But as we've reported, there has been volatility in the price of plenty of other food items. And key staples like beef and eggs are actually more expensive these days than they have been."
This isn't a matter of a specific little bit of math inside a bigger ball of math or highly custom machine that needs nuance.
This is a literal effect we have on other humans by letting them go underfed.
Why do we need more nuance in the rules around apportionment in the well walked context of "people got to eat"?
This is just asinine at this point in human society. Especially with a much more educated society that can argue cogently around it sitting on their hands wanking their custom theories, tacitly enabling this.
Society needs to focus on stable support of our shared human needs first, stores of usable foods, basic products, etc.
It does not need to enable everyone's imagined pipe dreams, and emotional castle building, to become literally true. That's romanticized emotional ideology the others don't have to enable. Free speech does not mean you get what you're asking for.
When you're hording toilet paper and flour, but shelves are full of garbage caffeine tricks, sodas, "craft beer", sugar bomb cereal, you know your society has jumped the shark.
More importantly, there’s something wrong when a society is organized and operated in such a way that people have to rely on private charities and religious organizations to be fed. That’s a signal of social failure—especially when food is abundant. I’d suggest a more nuanced conversation should focus on the ways in which offloading a problem to charitable organizations enables people to ignore the problem by means of letting them feel good about themselves for donating time/supplies—which wouldn’t be needed if we ensured the problem didn’t exist in the first place.
57bn / 40m = $1425
$1425 / 365 = $3.90
While that's doable, it's really not a lot.
I'd say it matters a lot where you live and how you live. It's easy to live on far less than 100$/person_week in NY (or Tokyo, or Paris) with a tiny fridge and single burner stove, when you eat out 15 meals a week, or when you work at Google, or when you live in a rural area where prices are lower. But if you're urban, without a car, buying from tiny expensive bodegas, with growing kids, and can't afford to eat out, your bills will be significantly higher... Dog forbid you're buying pre-packaged or snack foods 'cuz it's easier than listening to home-alone teenagers complain.
Make 3 days worth of rice in the fridge. Freeze small batches of stews/soups/vegetables. Scramble eggs with different ingredients. Different spices/sauces. Eat fresh stuff on shopping days.
We could go for education, but many people do not take education even when offered for free.
More like frozen foods and sugary drinks
Are we really gonna ask someone who's already poor and tired to spend even more energy they don't have to make something from a few kinds of cheap dried grains.
Either give out enough money to buy food that actual humans want to eat or just cook and deliver it. A commercial kitchen and a few trucks would probably do wonders for an area that's underfed because individuals don't have enough time and money to make food cheap.
I think that food insecurity meaning literal hunger pains is way too low a bar for the US. That number should be literally 0%. Food security for us should mean food that is healthy and excellent.
If you surveyed specifically on whether people had access to fresh produce you'd get a much lower number.
Then if you look at the very low security group, roughly 4% or 5 million people, it gets really worrisome. 32% of households said an adult had gone an entire day without eating anything.
And I think this is compounded by something like Covid-19. 85% and 95% of the low and very low food security groups said they were worried food would run out. What happens to them when people make a run on the stores like this last month? Their ability to buy food is strongly tethered to the day of the month when their EBT card is reloaded.
I think a lot of this is subjective, and globally the US is doing quite well compared to all countries. But I suspect we do poorly compared to other industrialized/advanced economies.
"A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food, in contrast with an area with higher access to supermarkets or vegetable shops with fresh foods, which is called a food oasis. The designation considers the type and quality of food available to the population, in addition to the accessibility of the food through the size and proximity of the food stores.
In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 23.5 million Americans live in "food deserts"
Citizens also need help understanding nutrition and health diets (existing efforts are woefully inadequate), and direct cash benefits (SNAP) are suboptimal for that, considering food industry marketing efforts (looking at you Coca Cola).
I mean, if you want to ban Coca-Cola (like many want to ban marijuana), that's sort of a valid belief?
Small nudges  in the right direction. If I'm providing free meals for those who need it, I'm going to provide water (cheap, healthy, and readily available in the developed world) with it, not a can of Coke.
And with a lot of people out of work, unemployment offices backlogged, and a long turnaround time for SNAP eligibility (and many of the newly unemployed ineligible for it anyway), the alternatives would likely involve some combination of mass starvation and food riots that destroy grocery stores.
Releasing unconvicted people from crowded jails while they await trial. Why were they locked up to begin with?
Allowing restaurants to offer sealed alcoholic beverages as take-out or delivery. Why was this not allowed already?
Offering all COVID-19 treatment and testing free of charge. Why not do this with EVERY health problem, like cancer or diabetes?
Allowing large bottles of hand sanitizer in your carry-on when flying. Why were we banning liquids in the first place, if the exception to the rules is a flammable liquid!?
We have plenty of food, but we've turned a large portion of it into unhealthy crap.
Do you have any links to papers about salt and fat counteracting satiation?
A lot of people use food for emotional pain management. Consuming food releases dopamine which is same as taking a drug hit.
My girlfriend used to be obese and I learned she felt very lonely and when we got into relationship - she got lot better and now she's very fit.
(This comment is not meant to argue for or against the position that food should be provided by the State. I'm just trying to understand what you mean.)
My experience with homelessness and lgbt issues taught me that relying on the charity of others, and not a formal social safety net, will only drive marginalized people further to the margins. Relying on someone else wanting to feel good about themselves to get what you need to survive isn't a good model.
Charitable organizations can run down once the volunteers have done enough to feel helpful. Not a good thing to rely upon, not in our modern society.
The rest of my argument is still valid. Relying on charity for human survival is not a good system.
Don't get me wrong - bless you for your good work! But there's a difference between helping folks with some problems, and helping the homeless.
They’re also still tossing expired foods even though Best By dates are largely irrelevant.
While the food bank can’t, you and your friends can split things up.
Even if you can’t, if you’re getting 500calories a day from rice for 1 person, 50lbs will run out in 6 months.
Also, a lot of needy children get their primary meals at school.
I'm not sure how well it will work, but it at least shows an understanding that not all families can get to the handful of schools that are offering meals.
I agree, sadly; I have actually been focused on mitigating the losses inherit in the Supply Chain itself, as on a solely Calorie basis we could easily feed the entire population, and is for the most part already at a post-scarcity level despite all the turmoil with Factory Farming and especially State subsidies that distort the commercial aspects of Agriculture (see last paragraph).
This underscores the 'what and why' better than anything I've seen so far and what can lead to Dairy Farmers being asked to dump milk to maintain prices via artificial scarcity:
> The dairy industry’s woes signal broader problems in the global food supply chain, according to farmers, agricultural economists and food distributors. The dairy business got hit harder and earlier than other agricultural commodities because the products are highly perishable - milk can’t be frozen, like meat, or stuck in a silo, like grain.
Other food sectors, however, are also seeing disruptions worldwide as travel restrictions are limiting the workforce needed to plant, harvest and distribute fruits and vegetables, and a shortage of refrigerated containers and truck drivers have slowed the shipment of staples such as meat and grains in some places.
Leedle could likely sell his milk if he could get it to market. Dairy products in grocery stores have been in high demand as consumers stay home during the pandemic, though panic buying may be slowing. Earlier this week, a local market told Leedle’s wife she could buy only two dairy products total per shopping trip as retailers nationwide ration many high-demand products.
Dairy cooperatives oversee milk marketing for all of their members and handle shipping logistics. Leedle said he will be paid for the milk he and other farmers are dumping, but the payments for all cooperative members will take a hit from the lost revenues.
That's not the impression I got from the article. They're dumping milk because the supply chain can't transport any more milk, not because of cartel-like behavior to jack up prices like you suggest.
>the milk supply chain has seen a host of disruptions that are preventing dairy farmers from getting their products to market. [...] Trucking companies that haul dairy products are scrambling to get enough drivers as some who fear the virus have stopped working.
I knew I should have made that point clearer before I hit submit but I had to get started on something else.
I was making an allegorical reference to how dumping milk can become commonplace, as was done in WWII all while food was being rationed and such. Things we still to this day find abhorant, but can easily be normalized.
I saw how farmers in the EU were paid not to harvest citrus in order maintain prices and supply in other member nations and bountiful fruit orchards were left neglected, I saw how massive amounts of cucumbers were destroyed (without being accurately tested) in Spain when an outbreak happened in the EU, only find out they came from Germany after the destruction. Same with Horse meat etc... my point being that that bureaucratic meddling distorts the ability for producers and consumers to be able to find the most efficient way to exchanged good and services, because of a series of obtuse and poorly formulated regulations and this more the norm than most people think.
The broken food supply chain is the best example of that, its seriously a miracle it has 'worked' at all thus far if I'm honest.
*Can provide links later
...but it can be dried. I bought some powdered milk during my preparation and have been using it to cook with, for which it's been great. In a pinch you can drink it, or use it to extend fresh milk, if you have any. It can be stored for a long time, too.
I know it's not ideal, but it's better than throwing milk away.
Hard to DIY (I think? Or I overestimate), but at an industrial scale, already a thing.
Takes up a lot less space too.
Finally, milk can be UHT’d and is then shelf stable for ~40 weeks. Then is starts to form sediments... dunno if that’s actually bad.
Or do the next best thing as cheese making requires elaborate infrastructure, preps and a very refined skill-set (its basically bio-chemistry), which is to feed local livestock with it directly; when I worked in Bern I got the honor to apprentice for a day under one of the most highly regarded Emantaler Cheese Masters in the Country. My day started at 3am where I got there and began reaching out to the local livestock farmers by phone or email asking the list of regulars if they would be available to pick up the whey until about 5am while the cheese maker and his staff sterilized everything and got there preps ready. In addition to it being a sustainable practice I learned at lunch that he was also paid for this by the local farmers which helped him offset expenses and provide a very valued service to the community.
By 10am when the cheese wheels had already been formed and was in the brine we had 5 livestock farmers ready outside to come pick up ~3000 liters of whey to feed their animals and we just emptied the hose from the fermentation vat to their containers. It all just made perfect sense and moved me to try and model this in my bahaviour moving forward.
By my 2nd year when I went to Italy and ran the farm and the Kitchen in the agrotourism I worked directly with the owner/artisan Cheese maker (much smaller operation and herd) and he was just dumping the whey into the drain after production.
I told him I'd get a couple of chickens and would upcycle the wasted bread and whey and provide to provide them with feed in addition to the food scraps we had and could have egg laying hens producing in a month or two and would highlight it on the menu, as well as have another attraction for the patrons to visit before/after Dinner. By the time I left, our group of volunteer and BnB guest's food budget went down 50% because I was able to feed them and also sell them by the dozen to restaurant patrons at 5 Euros/Dozen. One of the front of house girls started to make nice woven baskets from straw and we included fig jam (that could be made for pennies) she'd make from the excess harvest.
I honestly think the real core issue is that we've normalized this expendable resource narrative to its furthest extreme, which the Earth cannot take any more, and its such that that only a generation ago your grandmother (if you're millennial aged) would be aghast at the sight.
The bigger problem is that these people then have entered office, or roles of supervision and created or enforce legislation that rewards that disastrous mentality and it keeps Food producers content (just enough) with subsidies that distorts all of this and has ripple effects all down the supply chain.
Without the profit incentive, we have seen time and again, far more severe disruptions to the food supply (USSR, Venezuela, DPRK). Capitalism does not provide for everyone, but it does an excellent job of providing for the vast majority of people. Charity and welfare programs are a good supplement to that, but profit itself is an immensely powerful and useful tool to keep people fed.
We need to bring back town farms. There is more than enough land within NYC that's currently being used for literally nothing that could instead be growing free food for anyone who wants it.
Going to some store and lining up is very demoralising thing.
If food comes to your home from normal delivery with no different labeling then for paying customers, we could achieve new moral highs.
According to NYC:
> Starting today, 3 free meals will be available for ALL New Yorkers in more than 400 Meal Hubs, Mon-Fri: http://schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
Since it's being run by the Department of Education, the pickup locations will probably be at public schools (the same as when the program used to be only for school children).
Perhaps, but also it might be just annoying enough so that everybody who really needs the food is able to get it, and people who can afford food don't take it. If that works effectively, we're saving a lot of administrative costs and reducing barriers to entry compared to food stamps where you have to convince the government that you need it.
Not only should people get 'free food' but someone else should have to deliver it to them as well so that they have 'equality'?
this is not a statement you can make without qualifying. it is either a useless tautology (society would be better if society were better), or an actual argument about policy and procedures (if wealthier people paid more taxes, we could feed poorer people and society would be better).
of course, no one says the second thing when that's what they mean because it is not self-evidently true. the core issue is complex and then the second- and third- order consequences are even more complex. this is to say nothing about which morals you presuppose about what a "better" society would be.
> I wish could out last this virus.
I have been wishing the opposite. my greatest fear is that the virus and soon-to-be depression will be used to push through some extreme political policy that will reshape America in a near-uncontrolled way.
"given that good nutrition and a lack of stress from worrying about food allows people to develop more intellectually, raising taxes to pay for food welfare will actually raise money by introducing more workforce"
there are principles you can attack (good nutrition aids brain development, less stress aids brain development), an action to attack (raising taxes), and projected results to attack (better brain development yields higher workforce participation, higher workforce participation will raise more money).
this is an argument, something to be debated. "we'd be better if less people were hungry" is a useless platitude.
We can apply creativity to solving the world's problems without resorting to the slippery slope fallacy of the abandonment of capitalism completely.
Not every social experiment is a one-way door that cannot be tweaked, improved or abandoned. We need to be less cynical and be willing to experiment more without so much fear.
Possibly, but not necessarily. I'm in Germany. We have UBI for all intents and purposes, you get an apartment, utilities, TV, a washing machine etc, health insurance and money for food and stuff. Yes, you are expected to take a job if you can find one, but you're not pushed too hard if you half-ass it and don't find any.
We're still looking for those highly beneficial consequences. We have plenty of intergenerational poverty and our social mobility is worse than in the US.
It's apparently not that simple, unfortunately.
> Not every social experiment is a one-way door that cannot be tweaked, improved or abandoned.
It pretty much is though. It's very, very, very hard to turn back the clock on benefits once people have gotten used to it.
>Especially if it takes taxing the "rich" more.
im not sure why you put rich in quotes since that's not what I said. however, the majority of tax revenue already comes from businesses and high-income tax brackets. what do you think is a "fair" share, since theyre already footing the bill?
> Imagine the chaos that would ensue...
youre being sarcastic, but im not sure why. American capitalism has helped catapult the world into a standard of living previously unimagined. most socialist experiments have ended with millions of dead, and the current socialist successes are either brutally authoritarian and/or 1/100 the size of USA.
> This can only push innovation!
if you want to stop using technology that was gained in some part by the "needless" (whatever that means) suffering of others, then good luck; you've got quite the task ahead of you.
> That would certainly make for a better society!
im making good-faith arguments including first-principles. you respond with false dichotomys, straw men, putting words in my mouth, sarcasm, and generally being a piece of shit.
The very consideration of the 'Nordic Model' is almost absurd because it ignores the other 80% of the situation which is the social fabric that's not part of the political system.
New York has 23% of the population functionally illiterate and there's a perfect correlation between literacy and success and health in every domain. So that would be a really good place to start.
And there are a zillion obviously unfair things in the US that could be fixed.
So much low-hanging fruit before a comparative basis is even needed.
It's very, very bad that it's achieved through the mechanism of central government, which uses coercion and a giant monopolic beurocracy apparatus in order to implement that.
People don't often die of starvation in the United States. I don't have exact numbers, but if you exclude people who have eating disorders, I'm sure it's insignificant compared to almost every other cause of death. But, malnutrition is certainly a problem, and that problem gets worse when you have people who literally don't know where their next meal is coming from.
That means that people are obese but at the same time essentially starving to death from lack of nutrients. Which causes more food cravings that people are able to attempt to satiate only with more food with poor nutritive value.
At least based on one point of anecdata - my neighbors. I have lots of poor families in my neighborhood even though I am middle class myself thanks to HOC (a Maryland social program where middle class housing is subsidized for the poor). Long story short - my poor African American neighbors are extremely obese; and it's no wonder why. I only ever see them eating McDonald's/dollar tree chips/soda. I know they are on SNAP, but I don't know if they are trading it for booze/cigarettes. It's my opinion though that they lack education on how to prepare/cook cheap raw ingredients into meals.
Yet my other equally poor immigrant El Salvadorian neighbors are skinny as rails and from what I can tell they eat tons of rice and beans and such (I often see them carrying 20 lb bags of rice into their house).
> More than 38 million people are living in poverty in America. In 2019, most families living in poverty earn less than $25,750 per year.
> More than 37 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including more than 11 million children.