From Pine View Farm

Magical Misery Tour 2

Heather Denkmire is not impressed by persons who decide to take the “SNAP challenge” and live on a foodstamp-sized food budget for a week.

A nugget:

Writing this column is difficult because I am upset about people who are essentially tourists checking out poverty, no matter how well-meaning they are. Intellectually, it reminds me of being in the sixth grade in West Hartford, Conn. We climbed onto a bus that drove over to Hartford for a tour of the city. We saw human beings living their lives in run-down housing on unkempt streets, and the adult at the front of the bus told us this was urban “decay.” We saw what I now would describe as gentrification and were told this was urban “renewal.” It took me 10 years to look back on that experience and realize how wrong it was.

Read the rest.



  1. George Smith

    November 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Food stamp challenges haven’t worked. No matter how many ordinary people or celebrity pols occasionally do them, we’re now at the stage where the national policy is even more malevolent toward the poor and hunger than it was four years ago. So if that’s ‘help,’ they should stop right away. Anyway, you don’t have to do the challenge to know that living on the meager subsidy isn’t doable unless you pay absolutely no attention at the supermarket. This country still hasn’t had food riots. I’m thinking more and more that it should. ‘Course, historically — in our times — I don’t think it did even when it was more desperate than now, before the institution of the food stamp program. The poor just starved and were ignored. You have to have food riots before everyone becomes debilitated.

  2. Frank

    November 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    I thought her column was excellent.  There is a certain condescension in being a tourist of poverty.


    You put into words what I have been thinking:  I suspect/fear/hope we are not far from food riots.  


    The callousness of our public discourse is most distressing.


    Indeed, even Dr. Dan called it out on a recent episode of Voices in the Family, in which he went on a rant (most uncharacteristic for Dr. Dan Gottlieb, whom I’ve listened to for years) about the word, “entitlements.”