5@5 - Jilly Stephens, Executive Director of City Harvest
February 25th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

In a country filled with weight loss reality shows and Double Downs, the omnipresence of food insecurity and hunger in the United States might come as a shock to some.

Jilly Stephens is the Executive Director of City Harvest. The non-profit organization dedicates itself to ending hunger in New York City by collecting leftover food from restaurants, grocery stores, manufacturers, and farms and distributing it to those in need.

Five Shocking Statistics About Hunger: Jilly Stephens

1. According to the USDA, 50 million people, or 16.6% of Americans, live in households at risk of hunger.

2. The Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, now puts food on the table for one in seven Americans. A family of three (one adult, two kids) earning over $23,900 would not be eligible for food stamps.

3. In most areas of New York City, a family of three (one adult, two kids) would need to earn over $60,000 to basic needs like rent, medical care and food.

4. One in eight Americans rely on City Harvest or a similar program for food and groceries.

5. City Harvest helps over 300,000 hungry New Yorkers find their next meal each week.

We recently spoke with Eric Ripert about the importance of hunger-fighting initiatives like City Harvest. Ripert is the executive chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, which currently hold the Michelin Guide's highest rating of three stars and four stars from the New York Times. He is the chair of City Harvest's Food Council, bringing together the city's top chefs, restaurateurs, and food personalities to help fight hunger.

Learn more about Le Bernardin's fish butcher, Justo Thomas, seen in the video above.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Celebrity Chefs • Eric Ripert • Food Politics • Hunger • News • SNAP • Think • Video

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Samantha Jones

    I have volunteered at a soup kitchen which is why I post my remarks. The people at the soup kitchen were lazy and obese. The people attending the soup kitchen should be required to work so they can start developing a skill and learn to care for themselves. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but will probably vote Democrat and beg for more everyday. Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime but will probably vote Republican".

    February 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  2. DavidFL

    No offense to the "poor/ hungry" in this country.... but food is very cheap in this country. I know we are going through a recession, but you can buy a footlong sub at Subway for $5.00 (that can even be shared by 2 people). You can buy a dollar menu item at a fast food place. You can buy a whole cooked rotisserie chicken at your local supermarket for around $6.00. There is something realy wrong with you if you cannot afford that and if you are going hungry in the USA!!! Real hunger is what the people of Haiti go through everyday– a place that is poverty stricken with no resources.

    February 26, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Inadequate Wife

      Do you realize all the food items you mentioned aren't covered by food stamps?

      Let's actually break down the cost: $1 breakfast sandwich for me, and for my child = $2
      A $5 footlong sub, split between us for lunch = $5
      A small rotisserie chicken, $8 at our local grocery store, would feed us for two nights = $4 per night

      So far, we've spent $11 on food for the day. A pretty good amount of protein, that's true. But the only veggies are on the sub, there's no "side dish" for dinner, and not a piece of fruit in sight.

      Multiplied over 365 days, our food cost for the year is $4015. With still no fruit, no snacks, no variety.

      February 26, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  3. betcha

    The title is misleading. 1 in 7 people are hungry? Or 1 in 7 people are eligible for food stamps? Many people who collect food stamps sell them or use them to pay rent. You know best if you can afford groceries or need to pay the heat before it's shut off... but it's a poor way to calculate how many people are actually "hungry". More accurately, 1 in 7 have significantly low income, at least on the books.

    February 26, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  4. Tommie

    I eat beans and rice. 25 pound sack of rice costs $20. For roughly 40k calories. Or $1 for 2k calories. Beans are $20 for 2k calories. Add meat and veggies. Figure it adds up to $5/day or so. So figure pushing $2k per year for a healthy diet. Liberals tend to add in the incidentals. That is how they figure it costs $60k per year to feed and house three people. But the food shouldn't cost more than $10k per year. Where is the other$50k going that liberals can claim these folks are going hungry?

    February 26, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • betcha

      Good point. I've actually survived on $12/week plus a backyard tomato patch. There's a lot of give and take as to how you spend your grocery money. Of course, people's spending habits are their own affair, but if they are actually hungry most will stretch a dollar to feel satisfied. The more pressing issue is nutrition. Cheap food is fast food unless you cook from scratch.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  5. SomeDude

    Sounds like City Harvest is patting themselves on the back. other than that nothing shocking about these statistics.

    February 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  6. Lynne

    I agree about illegals...they shouldn't starve. Give them a good meal, pack them a sandwich and drive them back across the border. We need to feed our own.

    February 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  7. jake

    Yes- a smaller government that says TOUGH LUCK to all the idiots having more kids than they can afford to feed. Say no to the Octomoms, welfare queens, etc. These benefits are what keep them having more and more kids. A family of 6+ can be making upwards of 80K in income and still qualify for free health insurance with Healthy Families. Get rid of these stinking programs and people will get with reality and realize they can't keep birthing babies and expect hard working tax payers to foot the bill.

    February 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • spikette

      a smaller govt that increases to dictate our behaviors? are you really advocating telling people personal choices they can make? for real.... lol lol. ah, the republican we love. such in your face hypocrites.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Amy

      I think Jake and Samantha's points are valid, although their posts make them out to be villains. Unfortunately, the problem is very very complex. Ultimately, we aren't born destined to fail, right? I think a long term solution that starts with family planning is necessary. If someone is receiving assistance, I believe it is appropriate to ask 'why'. Some people legitimately need some help to get on their feet or get out of a bad situation. Others, like my lazy sister who didn't finish her high school diploma, need to spend 6 weeks to get her GED and get and hold a decent job and stop having children. Those who are abusing should ...??? I don't know what to do with them. I don't want cracked out welfare zombies running around the streets. What do we do? They need SOMEONE to force them to finish high school, go to rehab, and/or gain a trade craft so that they gain independence.

      February 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • jake

      The government shouldn't say how many children anyone has- but when 90% of inner city kids are getting free or reduced lunches- there is a major problem. Exactly why should tax payers be subsidizing people's life style choices. You wanted kids- you pay for them. You don't buy a dog if you can't afford the food- you shouldn't pop out a kid and then expect the government to feed it.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  8. jake

    When my church ran a food pantry, it was alarming how many women would come in asking for food with 4 or more children in tow and pregnant with another. Then they'd come in asking for formula and diapers, within a year- they'd be preggers with another kid, still asking for diapers for 2 or more other kids. At some point we have to ask ourselves whether we are helping the problem or encouraging it. Is it right to enable people who have no means to support even a small family to keep popping out more children they have no ability to support. The cost of children is expensive, that's why dual income middle class families only have one or two and wait until their in their 30s or 40s to start a family. Rather than lamenting whether or not poor families can get fresh vegetables for their mega families- why not ask why they are having families at all when they cannot feed themselves properly.

    February 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Samantha Jones

      Rtght on Jake. These filthy people should be neutered.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
      • spikette

        why do you hate so well samantha? do you think it looks attractive on you? does it allow you to feel special because you lack any real qualities?

        February 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • spikette

      so now, not only are we dictating what they should eat with their food stamps, but we want to dictate how many children people can have? are you sure you are for a smaller govt?

      February 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • jake

      Gimme a break. It's not unreasonable to ask adults to be responsible when bringing another life into this world. Is it too much to ask they might actually be able to support themselves, have a job, place to live, and a future before reproducing? Where I live, there are many migrant workers making 10 bucks an hour picking oranges and have 8-10 American born children getting food stamps, head start, free health care and all the public benefits driving California closer towards bankruptcy. If it wasn't for those benefits- you really think they'd be popping out their 9th or 10th kid?

      February 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
      • spikette

        who is the enabler jake? the corporation that hires these people so they can pay a wage that does not allow people to feed themselves, out of greed so they can put more in their pocket? what would happen if the corp bosses went to jail. if there was actually a penalty to their greed in breaking the law. so you think with the jobs and opportunities dried up, we would still have the problem we have today? why are you blaming the people that come here to have more, than where they were born. why not blame the people that are the actual problem.

        February 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Kathleen

      How many of these women have inadequate or no access to fertility education, contraception, and abortion care? How many of these women are victims of reproductive coercion?

      I agree that a child is quite expensive to support on public assistance provided by tax dollars. Much more expensive than providing women with free or lost-cost birth control, comprehensive sex education in high schools, and safe, legal, and rare abortion care.

      Women who do not want to be pregnant won't be given the proper tools and education; neither of which our government seems to consider important for the well-being of its populace.

      Trust women.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
      • Cindy Christina

        Right on.

        February 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  9. Jim Jimmers

    Are we overpopulated yet?

    February 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  10. Lorne

    Samantha, have you PRICED fresh tomatoes and lettuce and apples recently? The cheapest tomatoes at my local supermarket recently were $1.59 a pound. For that price plus about a dime I could buy a pack of cheap hot dogs and a loaf of white bread which would feed me and the kids for eight meals total, plus some bread left over for other use. That pound of tomatoes might make enough salad, WITH other ingredients, to go around once but it could not and would not be considered a meal unless I could add several dollars of other ingredients which I can not afford. Are you aware that if you use that pasta and those eggs to make, say, spaghetti carbonara several times a week, you WILL put on weight and shoot up your cholesterol level? Yes I can take two eggs and the leftover bread and make some french toast that would feed us, so I DO buy eggs, primarily because they are a good source of protein, but did you happen to catch that massive price hike in eggs last year? I can't afford apples which are always at least a dollar a pound when decent apple contain only 3-4 pieces of fruit in that pound. I buy bananas once or twice a month only when they are below 40 cents a pound.

    It is utterly impossible to eat healthily with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits on Food Stamps. Eat a lot of pasta and eggs and watch your weight go up and your health slide towards Type II diabetes. You are a fool, and a vicious one at that.

    I challenge you to restrict yourself to $83 of food for one month. Just you and the $83 and no cheating, no breaks, no eating at your mom's 3x a week etc. That's from scratch, without using anything in your pantry at this moment because most people on assistance have EMPTY cabinets and refrigerators by the end of the month. I'll bet you won't be eating a lot of fresh salads and vegetables. You may be eating a LOT of rice and beans though. Seriously, do it. If you don't want to commit to a full month then try two weeks, forty two dollars, using nothing (Including those $3-$5 a bottle herbs) that might happen to be in your pantry. Oh, and to make it legitimate, no skipping meals until you run out of food. Instead, reduce the size of the meals to conserve and have a little something so you won't be looking at three or four days without any food at all. Try walking in the shoes of the people you are so hateful towards and then come back and tell them what they are doing wrong and how lazy they are. You will find that you CAN feed yourself on that amount of money, but not with fresh vegetables and salads and lots of nice seasonal fruits. Buy a canister of oatmeal for b/fast, then see if you can afford to buy a small box of raisins to put in it (or a few bananas). Buy a couple of dozen eggs and a pound of farfalle and another of cappellini. You may get very tired of bananas and eggs and pasta. Now think if you had to feed a child or two, whether you could afford fresh vegetables, salad and fruit every day or even every other day.

    If you aren't willing to do that then get off your high horse and count yourself lucky that you can afford three square meals a day. Millions of people in this country are "food insecure". An appallingly high number of them are children. In many areas, the family of four makes too much to qualify for food assistance, but the amount they make won't pay for the rent and the gas to get to work in the many large cities with little to no public transportation, AND put food on the table.

    While you are at it, please explain to us what poor decisions it was that led you to be such a vile hateful human being.

    February 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • spikette

      lorne, samantha isnt going to read all that. she might get informed, you know, educated, lol.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Kingfisher

      Tell it like it is. I can't count how many times I've only had one meal at bedtime so at least I wouldn't go to bed hungry. And forget about organic, chemical-free food.

      Might as well go ahead and cut my Medicare too. Because I was clearly too lazy to repair my shattered spine. I don't need HEAP either. It only got down to -22 (-50 wind chill) a few weeks ago. The doctor said I don't need to come in for the frostbite and I'll just trade my excess food stamps to the plumber to repair my pipes. All that free money was making me feel too good about paying my school and property taxes out of my Social Security check anyway.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • Samantha Jones

        Kingfisher – I usually only eat one meal at bedtime too. Sometimes when I feel sad, I will eat two meals at bedtime, but then it usually gives me gas.

        February 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Bill

    300,000 people served in a city of 20 million, that is 1.5% ....

    February 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  12. arrow

    I would be more inclined to complain about foreign aid,,,the U.S tax payers gave $1,000,000, 000 to Egypt last year and how much to all the other welfare country's?? Thats billions billions and we can't even afford health insurance

    February 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Liz

      I agree. Samantha needs to get off her high horse and go volunteer in a soap kitchen. I guess she doesn't realize we have veterans and baby boomers who worked hard all their lives and now have no savings to fall back on and may need a free meal or food stamps. Samantha sounds very un-AMerican.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
      • someoneelse

        Liz, I think you mean soap FACTORY, not kitchen. You can't make soap in the kitchen – well, not in large enough quantities for the hungry to shower.

        February 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  13. Samantha Jones

    US Citizens FIRED over 60 Democrat congressman, FIRED over 6 Democrat senators, and FIRED over 10 Democrat Governors. Time to CUT Welfare, CUT Food Stamps, and CUT Medicaid. Time for people to take responsibility for themselves and quit being a moocher on others.

    February 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • arrow

      Try it and then build a fortress to protect you self

      February 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • spikette

      then samantha, i am sure you are reay to fire the republicans for corporate welfare? too many corps pay no taxes and receives subsidies. the really wealthy pay a lower tax rate than middle class with all their loop holes. i am sure you are as outraged at these americans that take advantage of the system. if not, that makes you an hypocrite.

      February 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • someoneelse

      Samantha, this is no time to CUT your meds!

      February 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  14. Samantha Jones

    People on food stamps need to quit making excuse. They can eat eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, apples, carrots, spaghetti and many other foods without being obese. Why do liberals and the people on welfare constantly make excuses. Maybe that is why they are in the situation they are, because they prefer to make excuses rather than take responsibility for their poor decisions.

    February 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Liz

      I hate to use Marie Antoinette as an example, because she never really said, "Let them Eat Cake!" But, you, Samantha, sound like that. If someone has to apply for food stamps, it means they have no money to buy ANY food. Don't you realize that? And I don't think you are very "high class" because your grammar and spelling are off. Where in the world does eating spaghetti not put on the weight? An average serving of pasta has 40-50 grams of carbs, and not the good kind.
      You're probably a Palin Nazi tea party person. I sure hope you never have to go on food stamps Samantha. You would get a rude awakening. And your attitude is what made Republicans want to put a Democrat in the White House. I voted for Obama AND I volunteered on his phone bank. Do you hate me now?

      February 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Kingfisher

      If you still think that's true then why don't you go draw up a healthy, well-balanced menu that includes enough calories AND nutrients to maintain an active adult male and educate all of us. And do it for $6.50 a day (102.63 COLI)

      February 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • spikette

      because samantha, we are grown up enough to know we have no control over another person choices with the food they eat. arent you one to tell us govt should not make choices for us? yet you are demanding/insisting that people should follow your diet. why are you promoting a nanny state?

      February 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  15. Media Jackal

    Many persons who are receiving food stamps are obese because they can get more starchy, fat-laden foods for the stamps.
    How much do you weigh, you arrogant elitist pig?

    February 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  16. Samantha Jones

    Instead of providing Food Stamps, the US Government should provide Cooking Classes and Nutrition Classes. No more free food to the lazy and ignorant. People are ignorant because they are too lazy to study, too lazy to stay in school, too lazy to turn of the TV, and too lazy to get off the couch.

    February 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • dike

      and the smart ones are eating too much

      February 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • spikette

      and sometimes samantha they are ignorant simply out of hate.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • TS

      I have a college education and I know how to cook. I also know what's healthy as I studied nutrition in college. What exactly is a cooking class or nutrition class supposed to help me with when I can't buy the food to cook it? I also don't own a TV so I'm certainly not a couch potato. I have a permanent disability though and need food stamps to ensure I don't starve each month. Enlighten me. Will this cooking class ensure I have food and will they be able to do it in my home?

      There are lazy people on food stamps, and those are the ones that are usually talked about because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but there are also people who legitimately need it until they get better, find a job or a variety of other situations. Don't lump everyone on assistance together; use all that indignation you have over people ABUSING it to come up with ideas for how to fix the abuse, not force those who need it to starve.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
      • KEN


        February 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
      • TS

        KEN, have you ever heard of a thing called a Pulic Library? They have computers and internet for all to use (including the less fortunate).

        February 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
      • Keyboard PD

        Ken, caps lock isn't forever. Stop e-shouting at everyone. The only point that's coming across is that you can't type.

        February 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • someoneelse

      but apparently the ignorant are not too lazy to get on the internet!

      February 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
      • Inadequate Wife

        Our library is 12 miles away, 24 round trip. They are open 25 hours a week – 3 evenings, 2 mornings, and not at all on weekends. The cost of gasoline for the car, to drive there TWICE a week equals the cost of my $30 a month internet. Given that my $30 for internet also provides me with Google Voice, Hulu, and a connection to the outside world, it seems like a bargain. Our laptops are three and five years old, and were purchased BEFORE my husband passed away. My child "needs" (is expected) to use the internet to do school research, and with limited hours of operation at the public library, and limited access to the school's library (they are packed at lunchtime, and she may get 15 minutes of computer time at most), the internet at home is our only indulgence.

        February 26, 2011 at 1:06 am |
      • Jerv

        "There is no such thing as a stupid question, but apparently the ignorant are very inquisitive."

        February 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  17. aware

    I grew up in a poor family back in Italy, came in this country over 30 years ago, thank God I always been able to have a job, and even though, throug ha lot of struggles we made it... I have to say tha tit shouldn't be hunger here in the US, but jobs are needed, and willingness to work is needed. I have seen people on wellfare, on food stamps, for no other reason than lazyness. Let's feed the poor, but please... let's creat jobs!

    February 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  18. Samantha Jones

    Don't believe the Liberal Media, most people on Food Stamps are Obese. No one in the US is starving, compared to third world countries. People on Food Stamps should be required to a Body Mass Index test, and if they are Overweight or Obese, they should not be allowed Food Stamps.

    February 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • someoneelse

      There should be checks and balances, but the BMI is one of the most useless tools in actually testing for obesity. It does not take into account muscle mass at all for starters.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • TS

      You realize most people on food stamps are obese because it's cheaper to buy processed foods than it is to buy healthy foods, right? I'm on food stamps due to a permanent disability and I can tell you now, I can't afford to buy fruits and vegetables most months and I can't afford to buy organic things or natural things. It's cheaper to buy Oscar Meyer lunch meats and some bread and make sandwiches, or buy a whole bag of chicken patties and some hamburger buns. These are not healthy meals and will pack on the pounds because of all the fillers, salts and sugars you are eating.

      Learn a little something before you make stupid comments. People on food stamps don't usually eat too much, they eat poorly because it's all they can afford.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
      • Marie

        I am trying to eat healthy, and Oscar Mayer is actually on my "acceptable" list due to low fat and salt (some kinds) content.

        February 26, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Liz

      Not only are you extremely ignorant, you are short-sighted as well. It is common knowledge that poor people tend to weigh more than their richer counterparts. People who are poor also lack, for the most part, education about healthy choices. They usually can only afford for that is cheap. The cheap food is usually not the most nutritious. Furthermore, is is a myth that overweight people eat more than skinny people. Metabolism has a lot of influence, but so do genes. Probably the most relevant factor in people who are overweight,is lack of sleep. The appetite-suppressing hormone known as grenalin is secreted during sleep. Without proper sleep, the body craves carbs due to lack of grenalin.
      Furthermore, a recent news article suggested that wealthy people sleep better than poor people, probably because they don't have to worry about bills or where their next meal is coming from. Take that into consideration. The first thing that was done on the show,"The Biggest Loser" was to make sure that every contestant had a comfortable bed to sleep in.
      Samantha, you sound like a communist. Why don't you try to educate yourself. And by the way, just because you may be skinny does not mean you are necessarily healthy. Just because someone is overweight does not make them necessarily unhealthy. And by the way, I AM on food stamps and I'm a little overweight. I suppose I should be harassed and measured and weighed in front of a bunch of illegal immigrants before having the right to not starve to death because I have a few extra pounds.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
      • someoneelse

        Liz is right on this one. I saw on TV where they said if you feed a gremlin after midnight it would be bad.

        February 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Margaret Louk

      It would seem you have never had to get an emergency food box, I have and the legal Americans I know on food stamps often get a box with bread, sometimes 6 loaves, cookies, pastries, cakes and pie (whatever Walmart Safeway etc. donate) a head of lettuce some pasta, a few old onions, Cream of something soups, one or 2 cans of tuna, shriveled veggies, I have seen restarant size bags of shredded carrots, stuffing mix, rice, chips, doritos, cheese puffs, sodas, bottled drinks. Everything depends on what is donated. More fat and carbs than you can imagine.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Inadequate Wife

      I was recently widowed, and raising a teenager. My annual salary is $14,000 and we live in a small town with few job opportunities – I consider myself fortunate to be employed at a minimum wage job (with a Masters Degree from 20 years ago). We downsized from our home to a one-bedroom apartment, and sold most of our possessions in the process in order to clear the debt left from my husband's medical expenses. However, we aren't eligible for food stamps (Snap) or any other cash assistance according to our local social services office. Neither my child nor I are overweight, and I do struggle to put healthy meals on the table every day. We're also not immigrants. There are some families that genuinely need assistance, and we're one of them, yet according to our wonderful government, we aren't eligible. Explain that.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
      • Marie

        This is one of those unfair situations... We pay to the lazy and neglect those who need it.
        A few years ago I watched a couple pay with food stamps for lobster they bought in a seafood store; in my kids' school half of the lunches end up in the garbage, and almost all of those kids have the latest and the best models of cell phones and video games... then their parents lose jobs... they start crying for help... That's how your heart hardens. I still regularly donate to local food bank (most of the time those are cans of reduced-sodium soup), and I hope my donations go to those who are like you – in unfortunate situation – rather than "overspenders" who needed to be punished in first place.

        February 26, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  19. tim

    The US government subistidizes corn farmers not to farm, what about buying the corn, and other produce directly from the farmers. The mid west, I have heard, can provide enough food to feed the world, why do we not?

    February 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Samantha Jones

      Why buy the corn from US farmers. We could get more for our money's worth if we instead use the money we give to farmers to buy corn from farmers in China or India. The corn would be cheaper and therefore we could get more for our money. Why give the money to our lazy american farmers.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • LP

        You are a ridiculous, ridiculous little person. A lazy farmer? There's no such thing and there never has been, you utter moron. You wouldn't last half an hour on a farm. You wouldn't last half an hour in a school either. Hello?? Corn is subsidized here and we buy it cheaper than it costs to produce it. Other countries buy it from us because it's cheaper to buy American corn and have it shipped over than it is to grow it themselves. Pick up a book once in a while. Actually, don't. You might cut yourself.

        February 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  20. Elena

    Please enlighten me as to the easiness of illegal immigrants to obtain government assistance. I know some of them and this information will certainly help them while they work hard to support their families while contributing their taxes and not receiving anything in eschange.

    Thank you.

    February 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Moo

      Love your post too!!!!! You GO, Elena! There seems to be this myth that illegals don't pay taxes.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
      • Liz

        Why are you excited about illegals paying taxes? Do you know they are stealing American jobs? They should all be deported! Illegal means illegal. And by the way, if you are friends with or know illegal people and don't report them to ICE, guess what, you are aiding and abetting and/or harboring a fugitive.

        February 25, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • someoneelse


        Your ancestors were illegal immigrants who did nothing but steal this land. Why don't you leave this country and leave it to its rightful owners – the Indians!

        February 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
      • LP

        Actually, illegals often steal someone else's SS# and then make that person pay their taxes, taking maximum withholding or working as independent contractors. Another method is just being paid under the table. There are some big-name companies that I've seen do this- paying illegals separately from the main payroll to keep it off the books. They save on employment taxes that way. Illegals generally don't pay any taxes, no matter what your bleeding-heart friends tell you.

        Oh, and someone else? My ancestors weren't illegals. They worked hard to get into this country legally, working and contributing to the country. And, the "Indians" stole the land from the Neanderthals. Did you want them to give it back to them? Also, if you're thinking that everyone here is descended form the PIlgrims, you are wrong there as well. The early settlers didn't steal land- they paid for it and even made sure to pay more than the INdians asked for in order to be as fair as they could and stay in the Indian's better-armed good graces. The Indians didn't believe in land ownership, but they "sold" land anyway. If you think that's the fault of taxpayers 400 years later, you have serious mental issues that I can't help you with.

        February 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
      • Marie

        Illegals take those jobs that Americans don't want. Would anyone of us, proud Americans, allow our precious son or daughter to pick fruit in the fields? Most would rather see them getting food stamps.

        February 26, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Liz

      Considering you have spelling issues and "know" illegal immigrants, methinks you are one as well,Elena. It is far easier for migrant workers(fruit pickers) to get food stamps than someone who was actually born in this country(not an anchor baby). The wages an American family needs in order to live according to American standards are far higher than the government allows for public assistance. If someone from a foreign country wants to start a business, they don't get taxed for 5 years. However, an American is taxed as soon as they open shop.
      What logic are you using by saying your illegal friends(who are criminally trespassing on my soil that I joined the US Army to defend from all enemies foreign and domestic)pay taxes? If they are working, they are stealing someone's identity and NOT paying taxes. Why would someone care about paying taxes if they so boldly and audaciously decide to go ahead and work and live illegally in a foreign country without having the decency of becoming a real citizen who contributes to this nation. Do you realize that if I wanted to try to find work in England, I am not legally allowed to even ASK for work or look for it, unless it is offered? I have to have an English citizen sponsor me and say I have sound character and would make a contribution to their society BEFORE I am allowed to work there. What makes Mexicans feel so entitled to trespass over the border and just STEAL healthcare and breed like rabbits so that LEGAL taxpayers have to pay for their anchor babies? We are the ones cleaning up the trash left behind by criminal "immigrants." Borders are put up for a reason. Do you think I would get a warm welcome and a job if I decide to take a run for the border and "work hard" illegally over there? Legal Americans are proud to live here and don't take kindly to foreign intruders(illegal immigrants)marching over here and defacing our land, leaving trash along the way and spitting on our flag and stealing what we have worked hard for for generations to acquire.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
      • Doubt Salmon

        Are you aware that, according to prominent economists, allowing immigrants to come in freely would increase our nation's productivity by more than $10,500,000,000,000 (that's 10.5 trillion)

        February 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
      • Doubt Salmon

        sorry, I typed an extra 0, it's actually $1.5trillion, which is still a huge amount of money

        February 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
      • someoneelse

        Liz, I doubt that you could find an English citizen who would certify you as sound. Although I'm sure you are certifiable!

        February 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
      • someoneelse


        Most mexicans work much harder that you obese lazy Americans.

        February 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
      • KEN


        February 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
      • Liz


        February 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
      • LP

        Say what you want, but Liz is right. They take the jobs that are badly needed here and then don't pay taxes on it- why do you think that the states are broke now and the schools are in proration? The much-needed taxes that we've always relied on are now crossing the border in the pockets of illegals who take money but contribute nothing. They use the public schools, food stamps and anything else they can get their hands on and take jobs needed by Americans. The rule to becoming a citizen is that you have a skill or talent that is needed here because of a lack of it in this country. Do we lack factory workers?? Not in a million years, and yet two local factories use illegals and pay them off the books. Back when they hired Americans, some of that money went to the state and federal governments. Not anymore.

        February 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Simon

      @Liz, do you know the definition of the word "know"? Apparently you don't know! What a swing and miss!

      February 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  21. abby

    The true nature and measure of any nation is how it treats its most vulnerable, its most needy. We have plenty of money for war but not for feeding, clothing, and sheltering people. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Pres. And General in WW2 said the following: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."

    February 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Moo

      I love your post! We are really missing a lot of compassion for our fellow man these days. Everyone needs to remember karma.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • can't we all just get along

      thx for sharing the quote-i looked it up to confirm & found it. priorities..

      February 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Marie

      New York is one of the most expensive cities in the country; if these people lost jobs, why won't they look somewhere cheaper, like Wyoming or Montana? Because of climate? Prestige? When you are really desperate, you do whatever it takes. It is simply easier to beg in NYC than to work hard in Wyoming.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:03 am |
      • Dani

        Marie, did you ever try to get from NY to Wyoming with absolutely no money?

        February 26, 2011 at 12:40 am |
      • sancam

        c'mon ma, get in the wagon...we're goin' west.

        February 26, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  22. eugene

    You did not mention how many and how easy it is for illegal immigrants to obtain government assistance.
    Then they use that money to live on while sending a percentage of what they make back to their country of origin.

    February 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Moo

      That may be, but that doesn't mean we don't have those who do really need help.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • pumpernickel1988

      For goodness sakes dude, give it a F'n rest. I don't give a crap if they are illegal. Hungry children are hungry children whether they're here illegally or not. I wouldn't stand by and let a child go hungry no matter where they came from. It's not their fault. So just quit it. Go dwell in the place of spite and hatred that you live in, and let the rest of us try to make the world a better place. You f'n a-hole!

      February 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
      • someoneelse

        We can't help the whole world. If America were to close its borders to illegals (again, most of who are useless) and put its own affairs in order, it could then contribute vastly more money to the world's poor and starving and actually help more people. This is a concept that would be beyond you though, as people only think with their heart (which in the end always hurts more than had you thought with your brain).

        February 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
      • Doubt Salmon

        @ Someoneelse:
        "I had a vision of a way we could have no enemies ever again, if you're interested in this. Anybody interested in hearing this? It's kind of an interesting theory, and all we have to do is make one decisive act and we can rid the world of all our enemies at once. Here's what we do. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense every year? Trillions of dollars. Instead, if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, not one, we could as one race explore out space together in peace forever." -Bill Hicks

        February 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
      • someoneelse

        THe problem is we can't just feed them. Most of the world is incredibly ignorant and immature (socially). This does not mean they are stupid, we are all human. But we can't just give free food and money. They have to work and earn it. The better idea would be free education all over the world with food served at the school. Don't discount spending on military as it is needed, even if we never fight a war again. America does spend way too much on it though!

        February 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • spikette

      actually eugene you are incorrect and uninformed. the majority of illegals work under bogus SS# and are paying taxes into the system, but will never receive a refund or be able to use the facilities that legal americans can. so really, we are making money off the illegals.

      February 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
      • someoneelse


        I agree fully. We should let more illegals in. That would solve the SS shortfall.

        February 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
      • spikette

        someoneelse, plus the republicans love it for their corporate buddies to pay low wage. win win.

        February 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jon

      I wish there was kind of study that showed how many innocent people died each year because of fear or prejudice. Maybe some of the people who received that food didn't really need it, but isn't that a risk worth taking, considering all it would cost you is fifteen minutes of looking through your can goods to find what you will never use anyway?

      February 25, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • mench

      You are the typical tea bagger: ignorant and heartless. Spikette could not have put it better.

      February 26, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  23. spikette

    just cleaned out cabinet last night for a food drive. foods that i had too much of, and wasnt going to use, or not use for a while. my kids school does it a couple times a year. love the program.

    February 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • eugene

      You know that the school is just donating the collected items to illegal immigrants.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
      • spikette

        no eugene i do not know that they are donating it to illegals. but even if they are donating it to illegals, i am good with it. people eating, works for me. difference between seeing someone as a person and someone as less than a person.

        you really obsess about illegals. behind every corner, every door. why are you so afraid?

        February 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  24. Truth

    I'm always fishin, 'cause its fun!

    February 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
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