Monday, February 25, 2008

Damn! I'm Hungry!

...and I didn't even know it!!

The worry-wort, hand wringing, do gooder social scientist bunch at the U of Mo. in Columbia have released a groundbreaking new study proving that once and for all that Missouri is almost as bad as Biafra was in the 70's.

OK, so I exaggerated a bit. But that's what they do, too. So sue me.

Gotta justify all that thar Fed dough rolling in on the war on poverty, dontcha know.
(Which, by the way, has become the longest "war" in U.S. history...going on over 40 years now. Anyone know who's winning?)

According to their press release "food insecurity" is an issue:
(I love that phrase! Leave it to the pointy heads!)

"During 2004-2006, an average of 4.4 percent of Missourians experienced hunger and the physical, psychological and social harms of not having enough food,” Rikoon said. “Regretfully, recent trends in hunger are not positive ones for the state. Current averages for hunger represent a more than 20 percent increase over the averages for 2001-2003. That increase is one of the highest in the nation. (ed note: ONOES!!!) It is likely that food insecurity and hunger needs will keep rising in the near future."

I must confess, I may have had a hand in this study. I recall about 2 years ago getting a survey that was focused entirely on food. I can't recall exactly which state department sent this thing to me, but since we are still on the books around here as being officially "poor" I reckoned I'd go ahead and play the game and answer the questions as honestly as possible. I can recall one question in particular, because it was worded so ridiculously anal and in light of the questions about the accuracy of the number of "un-insured" in this nation and just how that number was arrived at, I now can see how these "hunger stats" have been played fast and loose to indicate a "crisis".
The question had asked IF, for any reason whatsoever, I, as the head of household, had ever skipped a meal in order that my dependents might be able to eat, even if it was only once.

Honest answer: Yes. But they don't allow you to explain (of course!) In retrospect maybe I should have answered No, because that is more closer to the truth. But since the incident was still fresh in my mind at that time, I went ahead and answered Yes. (stupid me!)

Here's what happened:
We all were in town, it was past lunchtime, the younguns were getting antsy and wanting something to nosh on. I took 'em to the Subway shop.

As they were ordering, I fumbled about in my pocket to see just how much cash I had left on me after a morning of errands and shopping. I scanned the menu board and quickly mentally calculated that I would be about 2 bucks short for all of us to eat. Since I really wasn't hungry anyway, I didn't order. So, Yes, I did skip a meal. But No, it wasn't critical to my health and it wasn't the noble, yet tragic sacrifice that they tried to make it appear.

So there. I wonder how many others who had answered that survey had had similar incidences. Something to think about. Kinda like those unemployed people who were uninsured for about a week in between jobs. Get enough of them and you can create a crisis of medically uninsured on paper.

I found it interesting that of all the counties in Mo. the south east and south central counties were cited as being the best about addressing the needs of the hungry.
"The areas of highest need, such as southeast and south central Missouri were also high performers in meeting hunger needs,” said Sandy Rikoon, co-author and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security."

Well, DUH! Ever been to a VFD potluck? A local Pig Roast? Believe me, hunger is not an issue around here!

Seriously, the main reason we do so well in that area is simple: We're rural. Churches are involved and folks still take an interest in the well being of their neighbors. We give 'til we don't got no more just about. The Angel Food ministry is big around here, too. I use it and I can easily afford groceries at the local store, but the program does save us some major cash monthly. In short, we just take care of our own-on a local, private manner.

But to the eggheaded researchers who are looking to preserve their gravy train, that concept is just too bizarre to even consider! By their understanding, most po' folks are just on the verge of feasting on lead paint chips and eating play-dough to survive...and the gub'mint MUST do something! See? We have the stats to prove it!!!

The war on poverty is too lucrative to 'win'.


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