Author Topic: Panera CEO and Food Stamps  (Read 37359 times)

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« on: September 18, 2013, 09:12:08 AM »
So there's this story about the Panera CEO going hungry on the food stamp budget for food.  The thing is his budget is a lot higher than many of the posters on this board.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/17/newser-panera-ceo-food-stamps/2826547/

I'm not sure where this $4.50/day challenge came from.  I think it's the average pay-out for food stamps.  The thing is, the maximum payout for food stamps, which is what should be used for the challenge in my opinion, is $6.50/day.  Sure $4.50 is the average payout, but that's partially because many food stamp recipients have jobs that pay part of their food bill.  It's also partially because some costs go down per person as number of people go up, so a 3 person household receives less per person than a single person.  Also, it should be fairly obvious that a family of 3 will have at least one child, and children need less food than adults.

In the end, I say not being able to survive on $200/month for food, or even $135/month, is decidedly anti-mustachian.  But I'm sure this is what happens when you're used to throwing down whatever money is needed for luxury products.

Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 09:25:43 AM »
Sounds like a marketing gimmick to me.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8832
  • Registered member
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2013, 10:46:26 AM »
Sounds like a marketing gimmick to me.

Clearly, the government should give out panera sandwich certificates

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 10:58:00 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

kyleaaa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
    • Kyle Bumpus
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 11:40:18 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

These people can't go to Costco because there isn't one within walking/biking distance of a bus route and even if there was, they couldn't buy in bulk and get it all home without a car. They live in a different world than you. You couldn't eat well on $4.50 in their shoes, either.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 11:43:35 AM by kyleaaa »

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 11:41:06 AM »
Yea, I'm a little surprised that CEOs of any corporation would bite at this gimmick, since they want to keep everyone poor, right?

And yea, agreed about the week thing.  I have a bunch of stuff that's been in my pantry for months, not because I don't eat it, but because I bought it when it was in the clearance cart knowing I would eat it some day.  Or the costco flour I've had for a few months because my mom was in town and we went to costco.

If it was actually so difficult to live on $4.50/day, half our country would literally be starving to death.  However, I will say that vegetables and fruits can't be bought in bulk like grains and pastas.  Then again, he is the CEO of the St. Louis Bread Co. so I'm guessing he lives in St. Louis.  In that case, he could go to several markets, Soulard for one, and get cheap produce.  $1/lb mushrooms.  $.25 avocadoes.  $.10 ears of corn.  $.1 peppers.  These are deals he probably isn't even aware of because he's never really had to live on $4.50/day (and these wouldn't be his first choice because they aren't the shiniest of the crops).

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 11:46:05 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 11:47:06 AM »
children need less food than adults.


Hah!  Come to dinner at my house with my 16 year old son.  His nickname is "The Maw" and he has been a bottomless pit since he was about 12 with no end in sight.  He's 6'1" and 155 lbs of pure muscle.   

Whether children need less food than adults is very dependent on the child and the adult in question.

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 11:51:49 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

The food desert is real. In some parts of San Francisco, a legitimate grocery store is miles away. But there is no shortage of convenience and liquor stores.

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 11:57:48 AM »
children children in a certain age range need less food than adults.


Hah!  Come to dinner at my house with my 16 year old son.  His nickname is "The Maw" and he has been a bottomless pit since he was about 12 with no end in sight.  He's 6'1" and 155 lbs of pure muscle.   

Whether children need less food than adults is very dependent on the child and the adult in question.

Fair enough.  Does the edit sound better?  Kids, especially males, in the teenage years, do need more food than adults.  On the other hand, they're practically adults anyway.

Too add to my earlier point - I'm a 23 year old 6'4, 205 pound male.  I can't imagine too many people needing to eat more than I do, and I manage to have a grocery budget of $290/month including $100 at restaurants and $80 on alcohol (both my biggest anti-mustachian areas).

Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 12:00:12 PM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

The food desert is real. In some parts of San Francisco, a legitimate grocery store is miles away. But there is no shortage of convenience and liquor stores.

So they can't use the bus to ride a mile to the store?

I think the problem is poor people are making poor choices. The path of least resistance is to go to the corner store and get the inflated priced food off the shelf.

kudy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 945
  • Age: 37
  • Location: RV Traveling the U.S.
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 12:01:35 PM »
Quote
$.25 avocadoes

This sounds amazing. I would die of an avacado overdose if I could get them for 25 cents.

kudy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 945
  • Age: 37
  • Location: RV Traveling the U.S.
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 12:02:49 PM »
Quote
$.25 avocadoes

This sounds amazing. I would die of an avacado overdose if I could get them for 25 cents.

Quote
a legitimate grocery store is miles away.

how many miles? 3-4 miles on a bike isn't a huge deal.

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 12:06:09 PM »
Quote
$.25 avocadoes

This sounds amazing. I would die of an avacado overdose if I could get them for 25 cents.
I'm not sure they are always 25 cents, but I've seen them that cheap at times.  Never more than 75 cents.

Quote
Quote
a legitimate grocery store is miles away.

how many miles? 3-4 miles on a bike isn't a huge deal.

Could be difficult on San Francisco hills.

I didn't mean to suggest, as my earlier post did, that food deserts are a total joke/made up.  However, as far as fairly flat St. Louis is concerned, they don't exist around here unless you don't expect anyone to walk more than half a mile to a store.

kyleaaa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
    • Kyle Bumpus
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 12:13:08 PM »

I didn't mean to suggest, as my earlier post did, that food deserts are a total joke/made up.  However, as far as fairly flat St. Louis is concerned, they don't exist around here unless you don't expect anyone to walk more than half a mile to a store.

In fact, there are quite a few food deserts in St Louis. They exist in pretty much every major city.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/finding-fresh-food-solutions-beyond-food-deserts-st-louis

And if a person can barely afford food or housing, do you REALLY expect them to have access to a decent bicycle? And even if they did, how would they find 2 hours to go to a store 3 miles away after working a 14 hour day? Assuming they weren't passed out from exhaustion, who would watch the kids? This is a very, very serious problem and the solution isn't just to say "well, they're lazy. Let them walk for an hour."
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 12:16:56 PM by kyleaaa »

kyleaaa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
    • Kyle Bumpus
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2013, 12:16:26 PM »
So they can't use the bus to ride a mile to the store?

I think the problem is poor people are making poor choices. The path of least resistance is to go to the corner store and get the inflated priced food off the shelf.

Right, poor people are ONLY poor because they make poor decisions and there's a magical bus on every street corner in every neighborhood delivering people to a half-price Whole Foods with  organic avocados on sale for $0.02 per pound.

Let me ask you this: after your 14 hour days (not exaggerating, some of these people actually consistently work 14 hour days EVERY DAY) how often do you drive 6 miles round-trip to buy groceries while somehow keeping three 5-year old children from getting into trouble? They aren't riding with you on your bike, that's for sure. And your neighbor is doing crack so they can't watch them. This is reality for millions.

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2013, 12:18:09 PM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

The food desert is real. In some parts of San Francisco, a legitimate grocery store is miles away. But there is no shortage of convenience and liquor stores.

So they can't use the bus to ride a mile to the store?

I think the problem is poor people are making poor choices. The path of least resistance is to go to the corner store and get the inflated priced food off the shelf.

In the neighborhoods I'm thinking of, the Tenderloin and South of Market, public transit would involve taking a bus to the light rail, which would be a 45 minute endeavor each way.

Go ahead and flame away, but I honestly don't think riding a bike is very safe in those areas because it's an easy thing to get stolen. But that's just based on my spouse's repeated close calls with being bike-jacked, not something I have stats to prove.

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2013, 12:24:59 PM »

I didn't mean to suggest, as my earlier post did, that food deserts are a total joke/made up.  However, as far as fairly flat St. Louis is concerned, they don't exist around here unless you don't expect anyone to walk more than half a mile to a store.

In fact, there are quite a few food deserts in St Louis. They exist in pretty much every major city.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/finding-fresh-food-solutions-beyond-food-deserts-st-louis

And if a person can barely afford food or housing, do you REALLY expect them to have access to a decent bicycle? And even if they did, how would they find 2 hours to go to a store 3 miles away after working a 14 hour day? Assuming they weren't passed out from exhaustion, who would watch the kids? This is a very, very serious problem and the solution isn't just to say "well, they're lazy. Let them walk for an hour."

Are you familiar with St. Louis?  Do you live in the area you linked me?  That area is the exact reason why I'm skeptical of this food desert idea.  There are multiple options within less than a mile of that area, so 2 hours to go to a store is make-believe. 

FYI, decent bicycles that are good for 2-3 miles trips can be had for less than $20.

Edit - someone working 14 hours a day would make a minimum of $40K/year.  I have a hard time believing people are working 14 hours a day, every day, but I'm sure there are a few rare examples.  But in the end, life can be tough.  It's what you do to improve yourself that makes a difference, not the government telling you that you live in a food desert (even though it's rarely true).
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 12:29:20 PM by mpbaker22 »

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2013, 12:53:36 PM »
In the neighborhoods I'm thinking of, the Tenderloin and South of Market, public transit would involve taking a bus to the light rail, which would be a 45 minute endeavor each way.

I did a Google Earth search for "Safeway" (which I hear is a reasonable grocery store -- we don't have them in Georgia) and the farthest point away from them in those neighborhoods, which I eyeballed to be somewhere in the vicinity of Golden Gate Avenue and Market Street, is still within 1.2 miles. Admittedly, it'd be nice if they put another Safeway right near that intersection, and I'm sure there are hills to deal with, but it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. (And that's just Safeways; there might be other closer grocery stores that I don't know about.)

The centroid of my neighborhood has large grocery stores two miles away to the north, south and east, but I consider them to be an easy bike ride (or bus ride) away. Plus we have a one-day-per-week local farmer's market that gives you a 50% discount if you're paying with food stamps.

Also in my city, the closest thing we had to a food desert just got a Wal-Mart stuck in the middle of it.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 12:55:35 PM by Jack »

kyleaaa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
    • Kyle Bumpus
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 01:21:17 PM »

Also in my city, the closest thing we had to a food desert just got a Wal-Mart stuck in the middle of it.

Are you referring to Atlanta? A full 30% of Fulton country residents live in a food desert. They are all over the place. I think people who think this isn't a huge problem just haven't ever lived in such an area. Nobody is going to walk or ride a bike for 1.2 miles in these areas, ESPECIALLY after dark. Not if you want to live.

http://www.arkfab.gatech.edu/content/atlanta%E2%80%99s-food-deserts
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 01:30:14 PM by kyleaaa »

kyleaaa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
    • Kyle Bumpus
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2013, 01:27:13 PM »
Edit - someone working 14 hours a day would make a minimum of $40K/year.  I have a hard time believing people are working 14 hours a day, every day, but I'm sure there are a few rare examples.  But in the end, life can be tough.  It's what you do to improve yourself that makes a difference, not the government telling you that you live in a food desert (even though it's rarely true).

Are you familiar with St. Louis?  Do you live in the area you linked me?  That area is the exact reason why I'm skeptical of this food desert idea.  There are multiple options within less than a mile of that area, so 2 hours to go to a store is make-believe. 

FYI, decent bicycles that are good for 2-3 miles trips can be had for less than $20.


Right, because the mountains of data compiled by the people who work on this kind of thing for a living are wrong and you are right: these places rarely actually exist! Also, you're assuming all these people make minimum wage when you calculate the $40k per year number. I assure you, many, many people don't. When I was in high school, I used to work part time unloading trucks at a distribution center. Practically nobody there earned minimum wage. I'm not even sure some of them knew there was such a thing as a minimum wage and even if they did, they were in no position to complain to anybody about it.

You can be skeptical all you want, but people who ACTUALLY do this kind of thing for a living say you have no idea what you're talking about. I agree with you that life is hard, but the reason life is hard isn't because these people are lazy or incompetent, it's because of people like you constantly telling them there's not a problem (and blocking actual solutions) when there very clearly is. This is exactly what people mean when they say racism is still rampant. The system is stacked against certain people and many not in that group adamantly pretend there isn't a problem. Who is going to ride a bike 3 miles through the ghetto without their kids just to get some vegetables? Nobody who values living, that's for sure. Have you ever lived in these communities? Judging by your responses, I'm pretty sure the answer is no.  You don't have to travel to the third world to see squalor and poverty. It's here and it always has been. It's in your city.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 01:34:47 PM by kyleaaa »

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2013, 01:45:20 PM »
Edit - someone working 14 hours a day would make a minimum of $40K/year.  I have a hard time believing people are working 14 hours a day, every day, but I'm sure there are a few rare examples.  But in the end, life can be tough.  It's what you do to improve yourself that makes a difference, not the government telling you that you live in a food desert (even though it's rarely true).

Are you familiar with St. Louis?  Do you live in the area you linked me?  That area is the exact reason why I'm skeptical of this food desert idea.  There are multiple options within less than a mile of that area, so 2 hours to go to a store is make-believe. 

FYI, decent bicycles that are good for 2-3 miles trips can be had for less than $20.


Right, because the mountains of data compiled by the people who work on this kind of thing for a living are wrong and you are right: these places rarely actually exist! Also, you're assuming all these people make minimum wage when you calculate the $40k per year number. I assure you, many, many people don't. When I was in high school, I used to work part time unloading trucks at a distribution center. Practically nobody there earned minimum wage. I'm not even sure some of them knew there was such a thing as a minimum wage and even if they did, they were in no position to complain to anybody about it.
Exactly my point.  I am right about the data being wrong.  That's the problem with compiling data with no care for the local situation.  Legitimate grocery stores were not counted as grocery stores in the study. 
Quote
You can be skeptical all you want, but people who ACTUALLY do this kind of thing for a living say you have no idea what you're talking about. I agree with you that life is hard, but the reason life is hard isn't because these people are lazy or incompetent, it's because of people like you constantly telling them there's not a problem (and blocking actual solutions) when there very clearly is. This is exactly what people mean when they say racism is still rampant. The system is stacked against certain people and many not in that group adamantly pretend there isn't a problem. Who is going to ride a bike 3 miles through the ghetto without their kids just to get some vegetables? Nobody who values living, that's for sure. Have you ever lived in these communities? Judging by your responses, I'm pretty sure the answer is no.  You don't have to travel to the third world to see squalor and poverty. It's here and it always has been. It's in your city.
Did you not read the reason I'm skeptical?  I looked up the food deserts in St. Louis and they all have grocery stores within reasonable distances.  I haven't even mentioned riding a bike 3 miles through the ghetto.  And guess what, for the people who live in the so-called ghettos, that's what they've always known so they don't even think of it as being a bad place.

Judging by your responses, you've never even seen these communities.  I like how your argument has devolved to "you haven't been to these areas so you can't comment."  In fact, I have.  I've done work with the very community you've linked to, and it's actually a very nice community.  Honestly, your insistence on calling it a ghetto is incredibly offensive.   I run a blog and on-the-ground organization that tries to attack the corrupt politicians of the areas so the neighborhoods can actually have a voice.  But of course, that makes your "who is going to ride a bike ..." argument completely illegitimate.

To recap -
There are grocery stores much less than 3 miles away from these areas in St. Louis (try 1 mile).
The data is in fact wrong in many cases because it leaves out local markets as legitimate food sources.
People who work 14 hours a day do make minimum wage.  Anyone who has a strong enough work ethic to actually work 14 hours a day has the ability to be hired by legitimate employers who pay minimum wage.
Yes, a problem exists, but the problem is not lack of access to food (in St. Louis).
Your entire argument hinges on attacking the person (and your attacks aren't even valid).

LalsConstant

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2013, 02:03:30 PM »
I remember the food desert issue came up locally some time ago.  Supposedly my city was full of them.

The problem was the data USDA used to determine that only counted food stores that had sales above a certain threshold and it left out local stores and small chains.  So Walmart and HEB got counted but some family owned local markets and some farmer's markets and other legitimate grocery sources like a local organic discount store did not get included in the analysis.

I do think there's on part of town that legitimately might have this problem but it wasn't the all over shortage they made it out to be.  Lots of alternatives exist between a stop and rob and a full on supermarket.

Albert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
  • Location: Switzerland
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2013, 02:13:01 PM »
Ok, I admit straight away that I have no experience with those kind of areas. I don't think there are any here and I was always fortunate enough to be able to choose a good area to live while in US. Still I'm trying to understand why it is that no businessman wants to open a "proper" grocery store in one of those areas. Is it because the prevailing opinion is that the local population wouldn't buy regular products anyway and thus the store wouldn't be profitable?

Joshin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2013, 02:21:28 PM »
I'm chiming in as someone who was on food stamps once upon a time.

First: More rural people are on food stamps than urban. These people are used to making long trips to the nearest town to shop. Rural areas would be a true food desert, IMHO. Urban areas just suffer from inconvenient locations or high price markups.

Second: Minimum wage in my state is over $9 per hours. Working 14 hour days -- even at two jobs so overtime doesn't come into play -- would make most people ineligible for benefits. Many food stamp recipients are actually underemployed, which means they likely aren't working full time hours.

Third: The amount my family received on food stamps was more than twice our normal budget. When we no longer qualified, I had more than $700 still on my card. I allowed it to go back to the state fund because we were no longer unemployed and could pay for our own groceries.

Finally, not everyone but plenty of people are ridiculously dumb about food shopping, independent of food stamp usage. Not a huge deal if you have the cash, but it becomes a problem when you don't.  Can't cook or too busy? You could feed a family of four on frozen vegetables and precooked chicken for a month for minimal cost. Most people instead depend on hot pockets, frozen pizzas, "cold" deli foods (uncooked foods allowed by Snap), take n bake pizzas or Subway (cold, thus allowed), and other expensive convenience options.

Many have never learned to use a food budget. The monthly payout for Snap encourages a culture of spend it until it's gone. It shocked me, because many government programs, for example WIC and welfare, require recipients to take at least one class. Food stamps would benefit from requiring at least one class on managing a food budget and how to make a few quick, inexpensive meals. We can raise the amount to $1000 a person, but it won't be enough to feed someone a healthy meal for a month if they don't know the first thing about managing that amount of money. Don't feed me crap about not having time. When you're poor, all you have is time.

So, my belief as someone that has been there, done that? These CEOs need to do it as a month-long challenge so they can see the real problem lies in education and not just the amount. After the education part is implemented, then we can revisit the amount provided.


Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2013, 02:31:30 PM »
Heh, a week long challenge. That's mighty big of him.

I live in rural county that has it's share of poverty. Let me tell you about a food desert.

Here's the OATS bus transportation... a private, non for profit company providing transportation. I love it when a system works for needy people w/o depending on the bureaucracy of central services.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2013, 02:50:17 PM »

Also in my city, the closest thing we had to a food desert just got a Wal-Mart stuck in the middle of it.

Are you referring to Atlanta? A full 30% of Fulton country residents live in a food desert. They are all over the place. I think people who think this isn't a huge problem just haven't ever lived in such an area. Nobody is going to walk or ride a bike for 1.2 miles in these areas, ESPECIALLY after dark. Not if you want to live.

http://www.arkfab.gatech.edu/content/atlanta%E2%80%99s-food-deserts

That map is a huge load of BS (despite the fact that it was cited by my alma mater). You know what most of those pink areas are? They're industrial areas where nobody lives. The one right above the "Atlanta" text is a big cemetery. The one southeast of downtown next to the I-285 freeway label encompasses the Metro State Prison (it's even labeled!), the old prison farm (abandoned natural area) and a few landfills. Most of the diamond-shaped one on the west site of the map is Six Flags. Several others are military bases.

Not to mention, at least some of it is flat-out wrong, probably because it looks like they aggregated everything by census tract. Apparently, if the grocery store isn't within the right boundary it doesn't count, even when it's (literally!) across the street.

I've attached a version of that map with selected Kroger locations superimposed on it (shown as blue dots). It is neither a complete accounting of the Krogers, nor does it include any other legitimate supermarkets (let alone things like the temporary farmer's markets I mentioned).

« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 03:24:07 PM by Jack »

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2013, 03:21:19 PM »
I am so fucking sick of these stupid food stamp challenges. (Can I say the f word here still? Hope so.) I spent 4 years in college working with homeless & low income community members in Chicago to find jobs, housing, public benefits, etc. etc. etc. I know their stories, I saw their problems and obstacles first hand. Do you know why people keep doing these stupid challenges? Because they ARE A DISTRACTION FROM REAL ISSUES. We can sit here and argue to death about whether or not the food stamp benefit is sufficient. I would say it is in some circumstances, but maybe not in others, like if you're homeless or living in an SRO and don't have access to a kitchen.

But really, there are so many more important issues that relate to poverty. Education is a huge one, as I'm sure you can all agree, no matter what you think the solution is. It's getting harder and harder for people to pull themselves out of poverty. And of course, there are all the complex issues that have always existed, like wage, housing access, and the general inequality that exists in the United States. I'm not saying we all have to agree on the root cause or the solutions to these issues, but I am so tired of hearing about lazy politicians crying woe me over food stamps when we could be making progress on something actually matters.

AtlantaBob

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2013, 07:33:07 PM »
As an Atlanta native (and fellow GT Alum), I have to say that the tracts located in the Atlanta map seem questionable to me.

Admittedly, the areas that are highlighted have some questionable areas, but, many of these areas also have the best (most accessible) public transportation--which, unlike a lot of cities, is a flat rate from one spot on the system to another. If nothing else, individuals* could ride from any of these tracts within 285 to a Publix Supermarket on Spring Street for about $5.00 round trip. Publix isn't the cheapest supermarket, but that's just off the top of my head. As Jack stated, a lot of the highlighted areas are industrial, and appear to ignore shopping centers that are just across the census line.

That isn't to say that it's easy to get to these locations from any place in Atlanta -- it's not. But I think that a fairer test would be for someone to provide a (legitimate) residential address, and for someone else to provide a link to the nearest grocery store (including the time and money to get there round trip). It's hard to debate these things when it comes to generalities; the tricky details become clearer when you look at actual examples.

*assuming they have childcare, which is a *significant* assumption.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2013, 07:57:10 PM »
That isn't to say that it's easy to get to these locations from any place in Atlanta -- it's not. But I think that a fairer test would be for someone to provide a (legitimate) residential address, and for someone else to provide a link to the nearest grocery store (including the time and money to get there round trip). It's hard to debate these things when it comes to generalities; the tricky details become clearer when you look at actual examples.

IMO, the best way to make this kind of map would have been to get a big list of all the grocery stores, and then draw circles in a N-mile radius around them. Transit planning uses that kind of map; it would look kind of like this except showing grocery stores instead of transit stops. (Even this methodology has flaws; namely, it assumes you can travel as the crow flies when you really can't.) Or, you could make a Voronoi diagram with the regions shaded in a gradient to make a sort of distance-to-grocery-store heatmap.

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1798
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2013, 08:24:33 PM »
A Girl Called Jack (UK) often talks about how the problem of food for low-income households is an education problem, not just a financial one: http://AGirlCalledJack.com

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2013, 09:17:23 PM »
I work in downtown Richmond and my commute home to the county line is about 7-9 miles, depending on the route I take.  Been doing it for over five years.  I would love to stop by a grocery store that is on the way home on occasion.  The reality is there are very few on the southside until you get to the county line, and none near the routes I take (you can Google Maps Broad Rock Road and/or Hopkins Road for an idea of Southside Richmond, zip code is 23224).  There is a Family Dollar and a Dollar General and a 7-11 here and there, but most of the supermarkets don't want to locate in poor areas where the profit margin is barely worth the effort, if at all.  That to me is what a food desert looks like.  Crappy selection, high prices, and difficult to get to compared to what the rest of us in the city/suburbs enjoy.

To the folks that say it is doable, yeah, it is doable.  But most wouldn't want to do it. 

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2013, 09:23:19 PM »
You don't have to travel to the third world to see squalor and poverty. It's here and it always has been. It's in your city.

You make the false assumption that I live in a city :-)

You also have what seems like a pretty circular argument here: living in the "ghetto" makes it dangerous to travel to inexpensive food sources, but why is it dangerous?  Because of the sort of people who choose to live there?  And why is food so expensive there, because of the dangers that the stores will be robbed or vandalized?  Don't we see, in practically every urban riot (or floods, hurricanes, etc), pictures of stores being looted & burned?

I wonder how much looting &c has happened in the current Colorado flooding?

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2013, 07:16:41 AM »
I work in downtown Richmond and my commute home to the county line is about 7-9 miles, depending on the route I take.  Been doing it for over five years.  I would love to stop by a grocery store that is on the way home on occasion.  The reality is there are very few on the southside until you get to the county line, and none near the routes I take (you can Google Maps Broad Rock Road and/or Hopkins Road for an idea of Southside Richmond, zip code is 23224).  There is a Family Dollar and a Dollar General and a 7-11 here and there, but most of the supermarkets don't want to locate in poor areas where the profit margin is barely worth the effort, if at all.  That to me is what a food desert looks like.  Crappy selection, high prices, and difficult to get to compared to what the rest of us in the city/suburbs enjoy.

To the folks that say it is doable, yeah, it is doable.  But most wouldn't want to do it.

I could see this being true in many cities.  I know it's not in St. Louis.  The brand name stores don't open in the 'ghetto', but the Save-a-Lots, Shop-n-Saves, etc. are.  These are stores that will open anywhere and operate on razor margins, so they simply use the same business model in the ghetto.  Even the more expensive lines have one or two stores in those areas.
Also, I haven't bothered to ever check if individuals can actually purchase there, but Produce Row which is the entry point for something like 99% of fresh produce to St. Louis is located in the 'ghetto'.

I think I could buy into the idea of rural areas being food deserts.  However, I can only see this in dryer desert states.  Rural Missourians tend to have low incomes, but drive down the local roads and what do you see at every house?   Thriving household gardens, chicken coops, and sometimes even home-raised farm animals.

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2013, 07:28:45 AM »
I do think the 14 hour days problem exists in certain cities.  St. Louis should not be one of them.  Housing is cheap enough; you can find a 1 BR apartment for $300/month.  Government welfare benefits are pretty high, though they have become harder to obtain with everyone crossing thresholds during the recession.

No one is in this situation in St. Louis - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/nyregion/in-new-york-having-a-job-or-2-doesnt-mean-having-a-home.html?pagewanted=1&src=recg

avonlea

  • Guest
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2013, 07:35:26 AM »
I'm chiming in as someone who was on food stamps once upon a time.

First: More rural people are on food stamps than urban. These people are used to making long trips to the nearest town to shop. Rural areas would be a true food desert, IMHO. Urban areas just suffer from inconvenient locations or high price markups.

Second: Minimum wage in my state is over $9 per hours. Working 14 hour days -- even at two jobs so overtime doesn't come into play -- would make most people ineligible for benefits. Many food stamp recipients are actually underemployed, which means they likely aren't working full time hours.

Third: The amount my family received on food stamps was more than twice our normal budget. When we no longer qualified, I had more than $700 still on my card. I allowed it to go back to the state fund because we were no longer unemployed and could pay for our own groceries.

Finally, not everyone but plenty of people are ridiculously dumb about food shopping, independent of food stamp usage. Not a huge deal if you have the cash, but it becomes a problem when you don't.  Can't cook or too busy? You could feed a family of four on frozen vegetables and precooked chicken for a month for minimal cost. Most people instead depend on hot pockets, frozen pizzas, "cold" deli foods (uncooked foods allowed by Snap), take n bake pizzas or Subway (cold, thus allowed), and other expensive convenience options.

Many have never learned to use a food budget. The monthly payout for Snap encourages a culture of spend it until it's gone. It shocked me, because many government programs, for example WIC and welfare, require recipients to take at least one class. Food stamps would benefit from requiring at least one class on managing a food budget and how to make a few quick, inexpensive meals. We can raise the amount to $1000 a person, but it won't be enough to feed someone a healthy meal for a month if they don't know the first thing about managing that amount of money. Don't feed me crap about not having time. When you're poor, all you have is time.

So, my belief as someone that has been there, done that? These CEOs need to do it as a month-long challenge so they can see the real problem lies in education and not just the amount. After the education part is implemented, then we can revisit the amount provided.

I always love to hear from the voice of experience.  Thanks for sharing that, Joshin!

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2013, 07:44:36 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

These people can't go to Costco because there isn't one within walking/biking distance of a bus route and even if there was, they couldn't buy in bulk and get it all home without a car. They live in a different world than you. You couldn't eat well on $4.50 in their shoes, either.

+1


oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2013, 07:45:36 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

These people can't go to Costco because there isn't one within walking/biking distance of a bus route and even if there was, they couldn't buy in bulk and get it all home without a car. They live in a different world than you. You couldn't eat well on $4.50 in their shoes, either.

I buy in bulk and get it home without a car (or a bike) monthly, as do hundreds of my neighbors.

Do you live in a city where, say, 19 gunshots might be fired at a gas station? I do.

Let's take DC as an example. You are poor and live in a food desert. The upwardly mobile have moved into your neighborhood, which has attracted a Whole Foods store and some other "farm food" sorts of stories with high prices. You can't bike to a Walmart. You can't bike to a Costco.

Sure. You might say they should move to the suburbs, but they were on the list for section 8 housing for 5 years. That low income housing is disappearing as developers build more and more luxury condos. (I have seen the poor pushed out of their housing with nowhere to go.)

So, let's say they did move to the suburbs. Shoot. That neighbor they traded with to watch their kid is no longer their neighbor. Now, they have to pay for childcare. That is hard to do at their 7-dollar-an-hour security job. But, wait. They used to be able to walk to their security job b/c they lived in the city. However, now they are in a suburb. I guess they can just bike 40 miles. But, how do they get money for a bike when they have rent due and only earn $7/hour?

Some questions to consider...

Also, if you have a bike, why not buy a bike for a poor person who can't get to a market with low prices? That would be a good charitable act.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 07:50:07 AM by oldtoyota »

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2013, 07:54:11 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

The food desert is real. In some parts of San Francisco, a legitimate grocery store is miles away. But there is no shortage of convenience and liquor stores.

So they can't use the bus to ride a mile to the store?

I think the problem is poor people are making poor choices. The path of least resistance is to go to the corner store and get the inflated priced food off the shelf.

Is the "poor people make poor choices" meant to rankle or flame? I am surprised you would express a view like that if I understand it correctly. Are you saying poor people are at fault for being poor?

The person said "miles" and not "one mile." A food desert means there is nowhere to buy food anywhere near where you live. There are food deserts in DC. The only "food" is liquor and whatever junk food is sold--as a previous poster pointed out.

In the article below, you can see how the wealthy areas have many more groceries than the poor areas.

You might find this article useful in terms of information on the subject:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/doing-away-with-food-deserts-in-the-district/2013/05/17/f3e7e2d2-bf1b-11e2-89c9-3be8095fe767_blog.html
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 10:32:47 AM by oldtoyota »

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2013, 08:19:55 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

The food desert is real. In some parts of San Francisco, a legitimate grocery store is miles away. But there is no shortage of convenience and liquor stores.

So they can't use the bus to ride a mile to the store?

I think the problem is poor people are making poor choices. The path of least resistance is to go to the corner store and get the inflated priced food off the shelf.

The person said "miles" and not "one mile." You may not be familiar with food deserts. It means there is nowhere to buy food anywhere near where you live. There are food deserts in DC. The only "food" is liquor and whatever junk food is sold. Sometimes, there is a McD's.

Sure, the person said "miles" but he was wrong. You must have missed my earlier post where I pointed out that, even in the bad neighborhoods he cited, there's still a Safeway barely more than a mile in pretty much any direction.

I've already debunked the idea of food deserts in San Francisco and Atlanta; considering the flawed assumptions and poor methodology in the USDA maps I don't believe they actually exist in DC either!

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2013, 08:32:50 AM »
I work in downtown Richmond and my commute home to the county line is about 7-9 miles, depending on the route I take.  Been doing it for over five years.  I would love to stop by a grocery store that is on the way home on occasion.  The reality is there are very few on the southside until you get to the county line, and none near the routes I take (you can Google Maps Broad Rock Road and/or Hopkins Road for an idea of Southside Richmond, zip code is 23224).  There is a Family Dollar and a Dollar General and a 7-11 here and there, but most of the supermarkets don't want to locate in poor areas where the profit margin is barely worth the effort, if at all.  That to me is what a food desert looks like.  Crappy selection, high prices, and difficult to get to compared to what the rest of us in the city/suburbs enjoy.

To the folks that say it is doable, yeah, it is doable.  But most wouldn't want to do it.

I could see this being true in many cities.  I know it's not in St. Louis.  The brand name stores don't open in the 'ghetto', but the Save-a-Lots, Shop-n-Saves, etc. are.  These are stores that will open anywhere and operate on razor margins, so they simply use the same business model in the ghetto.  Even the more expensive lines have one or two stores in those areas.
Also, I haven't bothered to ever check if individuals can actually purchase there, but Produce Row which is the entry point for something like 99% of fresh produce to St. Louis is located in the 'ghetto'.

I should note one other thing about my commute through the south side.  It's not through a ghetto, it's through working class neighborhoods mostly.  Not nice neighborhoods, but not really bad either.  I can think of a local housing project on the north side that is actually pretty close to a grocery store because a nice part of town and the project are separated by bridges and railroad tracks (giving literal meaning to being on the wrong side fo the tracks).  Regardless, the condition definitely exists in my city.  By and large the supermarkets (and the Walmarts too) completely shy away from poorer areas, presumably for business reasons.  If you are in a poor area in Richmond you hope you are close to a better area if you want to get to a supermarket.

JR

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2013, 09:31:05 AM »
Why do the people doing these food stamp stunts feel like they can only spend what their monthly food stamp allowance would be? The first word of the program is supplemental after all. Food stamps are not meant to be a family's only source of grocery money.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8832
  • Registered member
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2013, 09:46:32 AM »
In the neighborhoods I'm thinking of, the Tenderloin and South of Market, public transit would involve taking a bus to the light rail, which would be a 45 minute endeavor each way.

I did a Google Earth search for "Safeway" (which I hear is a reasonable grocery store -- we don't have them in Georgia) and the farthest point away from them in those neighborhoods, which I eyeballed to be somewhere in the vicinity of Golden Gate Avenue and Market Street, is still within 1.2 miles. Admittedly, it'd be nice if they put another Safeway right near that intersection, and I'm sure there are hills to deal with, but it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. (And that's just Safeways; there might be other closer grocery stores that I don't know about.)

The centroid of my neighborhood has large grocery stores two miles away to the north, south and east, but I consider them to be an easy bike ride (or bus ride) away. Plus we have a one-day-per-week local farmer's market that gives you a 50% discount if you're paying with food stamps.

Also in my city, the closest thing we had to a food desert just got a Wal-Mart stuck in the middle of it.

Yeah there's also a trader joes .6 miles from civic center and other options.  The tenderloin is actually a terrible example because it's amazingly walkable for almost anything.  There's also the civic center farmers market.

I'm sure real food deserts exist, but probably not in the volume they are claimed

Mega

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • Location: Burlington, Ontario
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2013, 09:57:24 AM »
Honestly, as an outsider looking at USA, the food stamps program, and a couple of other programs, just don't make sense to me.

Why, if you are working 40 hours a week at minimum wage, does the government provide money for food? Isn't this just an indirect government subsidy for the businesses paying people minimum wage? Ditto for all of the other government subsidies (housing, medicare (?), etc).

Why not set the minimum wage to a reasonable level, and set it to automatically adjust with inflation?

Isn't the 1950s minimum wage something like $15 and hour, adjusted for inflation?

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2013, 10:34:14 AM »
The problem with all these dumbass "challenges" is that trying to do this sort of thing a week at a time just sets themselves up for failure. The absolute crucial strategy for keeping food costs low enough is to buy in bulk, which the self-imposed rules of these things automatically eliminate.

I bet they do it on purpose, too, since their agenda is invariably "See? It's impossible; we need to raise the food stamp amount/minimum wage/whatever!"

I think you're missing the point. Most people actually on food stamps live in areas where they CAN'T buy in bulk. Many live in food deserts, meaning there aren't any grocery stores AT ALL. And many don't even have a car to drive to a nicer neighborhood for food. They get their food at the local market, which isn't very cost-effective.

Do you mean like local corner store/7-11 market or like local farmers market?  Local farmers markets can sometimes be cheaper depending on their setup.

The food desert seems to be a joke as well.  Maybe some cities really have them, but I am yet to see one in St. Louis.  Oh, I hear about them, but there isn't an area I've seen in the city that isn't within a mile (absolute max 1.5 miles) of a decent grocery store.

The food desert is real. In some parts of San Francisco, a legitimate grocery store is miles away. But there is no shortage of convenience and liquor stores.

So they can't use the bus to ride a mile to the store?

I think the problem is poor people are making poor choices. The path of least resistance is to go to the corner store and get the inflated priced food off the shelf.

The person said "miles" and not "one mile." You may not be familiar with food deserts. It means there is nowhere to buy food anywhere near where you live. There are food deserts in DC. The only "food" is liquor and whatever junk food is sold. Sometimes, there is a McD's.

Sure, the person said "miles" but he was wrong. You must have missed my earlier post where I pointed out that, even in the bad neighborhoods he cited, there's still a Safeway barely more than a mile in pretty much any direction.

I've already debunked the idea of food deserts in San Francisco and Atlanta; considering the flawed assumptions and poor methodology in the USDA maps I don't believe they actually exist in DC either!

The Washington Post disagrees with you that there are no food deserts in DC. And so do I.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/doing-away-with-food-deserts-in-the-district/2013/05/17/f3e7e2d2-bf1b-11e2-89c9-3be8095fe767_blog.html


Undecided

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1088
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2013, 10:47:15 AM »
Holy cow. Some of you are really sheltered. Have you been in a house without running water in the US? Have you been to a poor person's house or, worse, a unit inside the projects? Have you tried walking through a crappy neighborhood with guns going pop pop around you?

I am thinking a conversation with a buncha middle-to-upper-class folks talking about what the poor should do is both comical and sad.

Let them eat cake!

Yep. But I think it's
Let them eat from their organic community garden!"

mpbaker22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2013, 11:34:03 AM »
Holy cow. Some of you are really sheltered. Have you been in a house without running water in the US? Have you been to a poor person's house or, worse, a unit inside the projects? Have you tried walking through a crappy neighborhood with guns going pop pop around you?

I am thinking a conversation with a buncha middle-to-upper-class folks talking about what the poor should do is both comical and sad.

Let them eat cake!

Yep. But I think it's
Let them eat from their organic community garden!"

I doubt there's an area in the nation that you can go where there will, as you say, be "guns going pop pop around you?"

That's a common misconception of people who are from the suburbs that going to the 'ghetto' will automatically result in being shot or shot at.  Despite ample time spent in these areas, including much time after dark, I've never seen anyone shoot a gun.  I've only heard what could have been gun shots on one or two occasions.
I think there are people on this board saying whoever lives in the 'ghetto' would not be able to walk to a store because it's not safe.  That's mostly bullshit from my experience.  It's driven by the fear of low-income neighborhoods that exists for anyone who lives in the suburbs.

I can answer yes to oldtoyotas other questions.  I've ridden my bike through this neighborhood (GASP!  How dangerous!) and I even stopped to take pictures, talk to the locals, etc.

Edit - that neighborhood is number 12  - http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/25-most-dangerous-neighborhoods/
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 11:38:56 AM by mpbaker22 »

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2013, 12:00:45 PM »
Do you live in a city where, say, 19 gunshots might be fired at a gas station? I do.

No, I live in the country, where it's not unheard of to have bears rummaging through people's trash cans, or eating windfall fruit from our gardens :-)  And where most if not all of my near neighbors have guns, in some cases sizeable arsenals, and yet somehow everybody manages not to shoot anyone else.  (Dunno about gas stations, as the nearest is at least miles away.  Though one acquaintance, the cop now known as "Bob of the Nine Fingers" did manage an accidental discharge while cleaning his service weapon :-))

So the question is, why do you keep on living in a place that is so dangerous?  (Or conversely, why is the place you live so dangerous?)  I have lived in cities on occasion, when it was unavoidable, and not in the upscale neighborhoods, yet somehow managed to avoid being shot at.  Are there no neighborhoods where people don't shoot at each other?

Quote
Holy cow. Some of you are really sheltered. Have you been in a house without running water in the US? Have you been to a poor person's house or, worse, a unit inside the projects?

Yes, I've lived in housing without running water.  (Ever been a migrant farm worker?)  And while I've avoided "the projects" (not being an urbanite), I was a poor person for the first half of my life.

Brad_H

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2013, 12:02:36 PM »
Someone above wanted an actual address to check out: Kansas City decided it had a food desert and has been trying to talk a grocery store into opening at 39th and Prospect since 2004.

So I put that corner into Walkscore.com, since thats what I always use to check the areas I'm thinking of moving into, and it turned up a Walkscore of 38 with a Leon's Thriftway due east 1.17 miles along one of our actually very good bus routes ($1.50 with free transfers within 2 hours / 75 cents on ozone days).  That as it turns out is better than my house just south of there which got a Walkscore of 25.  But the best is where I grew up with a Walk score of 0!

I really, really like your work with that Kroger map!

ace1224

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
Re: Panera CEO and Food Stamps
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2013, 12:31:57 PM »
Do you live in a city where, say, 19 gunshots might be fired at a gas station? I do.

No, I live in the country, where it's not unheard of to have bears rummaging through people's trash cans, or eating windfall fruit from our gardens :-)  And where most if not all of my near neighbors have guns, in some cases sizeable arsenals, and yet somehow everybody manages not to shoot anyone else.  (Dunno about gas stations, as the nearest is at least miles away.  Though one acquaintance, the cop now known as "Bob of the Nine Fingers" did manage an accidental discharge while cleaning his service weapon :-))

So the question is, why do you keep on living in a place that is so dangerous?  (Or conversely, why is the place you live so dangerous?)  I have lived in cities on occasion, when it was unavoidable, and not in the upscale neighborhoods, yet somehow managed to avoid being shot at.  Are there no neighborhoods where people don't shoot at each other?

Quote
Holy cow. Some of you are really sheltered. Have you been in a house without running water in the US? Have you been to a poor person's house or, worse, a unit inside the projects?

Yes, I've lived in housing without running water.  (Ever been a migrant farm worker?)  And while I've avoided "the projects" (not being an urbanite), I was a poor person for the first half of my life.
my grandmothers house sounds like yours.  her nearest neighbor is close to 1 mile away, and going "into town" to grocery shop is done like 2 times a month.  everyone has several guns and they haven't shot each other either, not even when drunk on moonshine.