Sweet Charities: Introduction.
This book is about a group of modern-day Wenceslases, not kings or queens, but men, women, and children from all walks of life who provide food for hungry people through ‘emergency food’ programs: soup kitchens, food pantries, food banks, and food rescue operations. It is about the blessings, or in more contemporary language, the gratifications, that these emergency food providers find in their work. It is about the functions that this activity serves, not primarily for the destitute who use charitable food programs, but for the rest of us. And it is about the price that our society is paying for these blessings, about the ways in which ‘feeding the hungry’ distracts us from the urgent challenges of deteriorating economic security and accelerating inequality.
Literally millions of Americans support these programs :
(“It is an outpouring of compassion, both organized and individual, that would be the envy of most societies in human history: a ‘kinder, gentler nation’ indeed.”)
Are all reducing people to destitution and sending them to the food lines.
“We are becoming attached to our charitable food programs and increasingly unable to envision a society that wouldn’t need them. We are so busy building bigger, better programs to deliver food to the hungry, and to raise the funds and other resources necessary to continue and expand our efforts in response to the rising need, that we are losing sight of both the underlying problem and its possible solutions.”