I’m somewhat of an Exploring Our Matrix fan, and James McGrath wants people to blog about poverty today, so here’s my plug.
People disagree about how society should handle poverty. Should the government do more, or is charity the responsibility of private institutions? Democrats accuse Republicans of cutting off assistance for the poor. And Republicans say Democrats have created a culture of dependency, and that Republicans give more to private charities than do Democrats.
I’m not going to comment today on what a biblical system of economics would look like. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that the Bible tells us to be generous to the poor on an individual basis. And I think that donating to food banks is one way to do that.
Over the past year, I’ve learned that bills can pile up. If my dad didn’t take me to Sam’s every month, and my Grandma didn’t send me boxes, I’m not sure how I’d eat. The needy should have the opportunity to feed themselves and their children. Then, they could use their money for other expenses, such as shelter. I often think about that when I eat a good meal!
And food banks need money. Last Thanksgiving, I read an article that said Food Banks are struggling financially. And I read an article a few days ago that claimed even college students were going to food banks, since the price of food has gone up.
I’m not a socialist, but I think everyone should have the opportunity to eat a good, healthy meal. And if a poor person chooses to use drugs instead, hey, at least the meal should be there as an option.
For information on the Cincinnati Foodbank, see Freestore Foodbank – Cincinnati Ohio. Rabbinic students at my school always had a program where they raised money for the Food Bank every year, so that poor families could eat a nice turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. That’s fantastic, but people need to eat all year round.