Quotation of the Week

Collecting food, like collecting toys for tots at Christmas, is the easy part – logistically demanding, perhaps, but fascinating fodder for the promoter and entrepreneur. Devising new methods of distribution, on the other hand, methods that enable the poor to participate in reciprocal exchange, methods that require mutual investment on the part of both donor and recipient, methods that offer honest compensation for honest work – such would be a transformation of historic proportions. The hard part does not lie in the creation of new models – food-buying coops, food for community service, wholesale outlets – such models are there for the researching. The hard part is the re-thinking of a well-entrenched give-away mentality and the restructuring of an established one-way charity system. A hunger-free zone may be possible but a dependency-free zone? Now that is a much bigger challenge.

From Bob Lupton’s Urban Perspective discussing a Kansas City initiative to create America’s first “Hunger-Free Zone” (This quotation is from the January publication which I receive via email–it is not yet posted to the site I linked to here but should be up soon)

1 comment

  1. Bob’s the real deal.

    I have little respect for the typical conservative call for more personal responsibility among the poor mixed with an almost religious unwillingness to grasp and acknowledge the sheer good luck and sometimes incomprehensible grace bestowed upon the well off.

    His honest, middle-aged reflections on his own persistent and often losing struggle for faith in his last letter about Mother Theresa’s loss of faith in the midst of serving the poor moved me a lot.

    Not many people can admit to a loss of faith in the face of gross injustice and still call gracefully for more responsibility on the part of those who suffer that injustice. Lots of truth in that tension.

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