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Archive for Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Funding shift

Government grants get many good programs off the ground, but who will sustain those programs over the long term?

March 9, 2011

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There is no question that the Just Food pantry has done a good job of providing food to local individuals and families, who, due to various circumstances, have been unable to buy sufficient food to meet their needs.

Those qualifying for the food must have an annual income below $20,147 for individuals, $27,214 for a two-person household and $41,348 for a four-person household.

The Just Food pantry was established in October 2009, with a $250,000 grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Now, Just Food spokespeople say they need to raise $75,000 by April 1 to stay in business.

Again, the pantry is meeting a serious need, but this is just one more case where federal money is provided for good programs — “stimulus” funds to hire more police officers, pay teachers, augment budgets and support other programs, including the pantry. But what happens when the grant money is gone?

It’s so easy to accept federal grants and handouts, but how many recipients stop to think how they will maintain or sustain the funded programs when the grant money runs out?

Just Food, with the help of Harvesters Community Food Network in Kansas City, has been a lifeline for many local individuals and families, but, with the federal subsidy coming to an end, will the pantry be able to fund the program with local dollars? Are there other food pantry programs in Lawrence that have figured out ways to keep their operations going with donations of food and money from local residents?

Just Food offers a perfect example of the government starting and funding a program, but when the money is exhausted and those operating or in charge of those programs cannot sustain the venture, private residents or other entities are supposed to pick up the bills or let the program die. If it does, indeed, die and people lose their jobs or services are discontinued, then it’s the private community that is blamed.

The United States is not yet a welfare state, but it is heading in that direction. Until it becomes a reality, recipients of federal handouts, as attractive as they may appear, should give far more attention to how they can sustain the programs when Uncle Sam is no longer picking up the tab.

Comments

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 9 months ago

I wish Dolph would actually check things out instead of ask demeaning rhetorical questions and drawing condescending conclusions solely based on his unanswered questions.

It's not hard to find out if other food pantry programs in Lawrence exist and how they're funded and how many people they serve...and whether or not they could serve 10, 20, 50 times as many people as they do. But, if you just want to complain, you're not going to bother to look. You're just going to draw your own condescending conclusions based solely on your own biased questions.

Yes, Dolph, "recipients of federal handouts" DO give plenty of thought and attention to how to sustain programs once the grant funding runs out. They even have to tell funders their plans on their grant applications. So perhaps you could stop sneering and become part of the solution?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

The US most definitely is a welfare state; not for the poor but for corporations. You have more money in your pocket this very minute than what Bank of America paid in taxes last year. It's sad when a household of two that makes 40k a year pays more in taxes than a multi billion dollar bank. Think about that, Dolph.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

Here's your chance, Dolph. Prove it can be privately funded. Otherwise you're just arguing for sustained government spending - or letting local residents starve.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

Occasionally I like to dream "what if." What if I had $100 million dollars, which charity would I pick to fund? How is it run? Are they spend thrifts? I'd thoroughly investigate it, then I'd fund some. It's kind of fun to think about, "what if" I won the lottery? Of course doing so insures I'd never win and also because I haven't reached the ripe old age of 85 probably the average age of every lotto winner, seems like.

It all started with a $56 Million dollar bond to improve or rebuild some schools 5 years ago, and now they're thinking about closing some of those! Our educated voters spoke!

Then take the Empty T busline. It was started with grant money for a few years, then all the bleeding hearts came out in droves to upgrade the system that nobody rides through sales tax increases. Of course they got the KU Student with a "free ride" bribe for some votes, miraculously winning with 70% support in our democrat enclave -legit or not? Then I consider the boondoggle Library - another bleeding heart spare no expense charity set up by local millionaires for the wives to have a pet project. Commissioner Dever knew the City had the votes to get the bond passed. How would he know ahead of time? Anyway, so the supposedly impartial City gives free advertising in the monthly water bill they've been ripping off our educated populous with adjustment fees, and another multi-million dollar boondoggle gets the votes for a retro 1950's spare no expense ugly or not look upgrade.

Now it comes to the food pantry. Maybe all the local do-gooder millionaires who need their wives to do something, should band ALL the local government charities together and get a super sales tax passed to cover EVERYTHING. This of course should include the United Way so employees aren't backed against the wall by their bosses to donate.

What if?

Jan Rolls 3 years, 9 months ago

Those that don't like to help others that are down and out should say this to themselves, "there but by the grace of God."

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