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Will fight for food? US military families on the bread line

#1
Helping the hungry on base: Many military families rely on donated goods

By Rick Rogers

STAFF WRITER San Diego Union Tribune

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061013/news_7m13bread.html

October 13, 2006

The women and children who formed a line at Camp Pendleton last week could have been waiting for a child-care center to open or Disney on Ice tickets to go on sale.
As the Iraq war marches toward its fourth anniversary, food lines operated by churches and other nonprofit groups are an increasingly valuable presence on military bases countywide. Leaders of the charitable groups say they're scrambling to fill a need not seen since World War II.

Too often, the supplies run out before the lines do, said Regina Hunter, who coordinates food distribution at one Camp Pendleton site.

“Here they are defending the country. . . . It is heartbreaking to see,” said Hunter, manager of the on-base Abby Reinke Community Center. “If we could find more sources of food, we would open the program up to more people. We believe anyone who stands in a line for food needs it and deserves it.”

The base's list of recipients swells by 100 to 150 people a month as the food programs streamline their eligibility process, word spreads among residents and ever-proud Marines adjust to the idea of accepting donated goods.

At least 2,000 financially strapped people in North County qualify for food and other items given out at the center and a Camp Pendleton warehouse run by the Military Outreach Ministry.

Ways to help
People interested in donating food, furniture or money to help military families in San Diego County can call:

Military Outreach Ministry at Camp Pendleton: (760) 908-7043

Military Outreach Ministries at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station: (619) 843-8964
 
#2
Dear God, I though the US took care of its people properly
 
#4
BaldricksBullet said:
armchair_jihad said:
Dear God, I though the US took care of its people properly
I thought you'd been to US... Hoverville ain't always paved with gold.
Yes and yes, however the highly supportive attitude of the US in general to its troops is superior to the UK, hence my surprise.

BaldricksBullet said:
As an aside, I remember the articles about British married privates and NCO's on the poverty line... Is it better now?
On the poverty line? Thats a bit flash! The MoD will have to do some cutting, I thought that most Toms were below the poverty line.
 
#5
having been to USA myself many times, I have observed that the Divide between the Rich and the Poor is a very sharp one and very obvious also they seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the really disadvantaged, I have never seen so many down and out some without legs or arms in San Francisco, quite shocking, therefore the opening post comes as no surprise and a glaring indictment of the state of US society, I can accept such poverty in third world countries as it is to be expected but in USA as the "Richest" and most advanced "Civilised" country in the world, the Rich and Poor divide is more stark.

I know we do have similar problems in the UK, However it is never on the same scale I have seen in USA, possibly because better welfare and social support coupled with a more sense of community.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#7
semper said:
having been to USA myself many times, I have observed that the Divide between the Rich and the Poor is a very sharp one and very obvious also they seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the really disadvantaged, I have never seen so many down and out some without legs or arms in San Francisco......
Likewise.


I thought Market Street was the cripple capital of the world.
They all seems to have 'pitches' & quite a few said they were vets, sometimes I had my doubts though. In the 70s at lot were begging saying they were Vietnam Vets when in reality they were draft dodgers.
 
#8
Those damned Christian groups as well, giving hand outs... religious wasters! Ban 'em I say, ban 'em!

(Sorry, couldn't help myself!)
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#9
There used to a chap on Fishersman Wharfe asking for money for beer, don't know if he is still there, this was last year. At least he was honest.
Used to be pics of him on the net but can't find it now.
 
#10
oldbaldy said:
There used to a chap on Fishersman Wharfe asking for money for beer, don't know if he is still there, this was last year. At least he was honest.
Used to be pics of him on the net but can't find it now.
he is, he had a little cardboard saying "at least i don't lie, I need money for beer" this is only last week, everybody seemed to get Hit on every corner for "any change" Social Darwinsim is alive and well in the Great US of A , Home of the Free Land of the Brave , My arse, I would not become a US citizen considering the situation in General in USA , No offence intended toward the ordinary American citizens, thanks but no thanks.

One veteran US navy guy about 60 I chatted with in Utah said "America is no longer what it was cracked up to be compared to his days"
 
#11
semper said:
oldbaldy said:
There used to a chap on Fishersman Wharfe asking for money for beer, don't know if he is still there, this was last year. At least he was honest.
Used to be pics of him on the net but can't find it now.
he is, he had a little cardboard saying "at least i don't lie, I need money for beer" this is only last week, everybody seemed to get Hit on every corner for "any change" Social Darwinsim is alive and well in the Great US of A , Home of the Free Land of the Brave , My arse, I would not become a US citizen considering the situation in General in USA , No offence intended toward the ordinary American citizens, thanks but no thanks.

One veteran US navy guy about 60 I chatted with in Utah said "America is no longer what it was cracked up to be compared to his days"
The truth is that if you're educated or have a marketable skill you have a very good chance at a hell of a good lifestyle, better than most Europeans, and I've lived in Europe, the ME and the South and West coasts of the US. That accounts for about 80% or so of the populace here.

The sad truth is that if you're at that lower 20% life gets tougher and for the lowest 5% it's very tough going. If you've got no extended family for support and you're at that lowest 5% life can be harsh here. Many of those at the bottom, the middle-aged and old 'bums' begging on the streets have various levels of mental illness, drug addiction and alchoholism, programs for which were stripped of funding in the '80s and left to the states and cities to deal with.
 
#12
Here's a comparison chart for US/UK junior enlisted men and officers who've just reached their rank. I'll base the comparison on equivalencies in an infantry platoon.

Annual Compensation (in Pounds)

US UK

Pvt 8,156 14,322
LCpl 11,195 18,344
Cpl 13,609 23,535
Pl Sgt 19,149 26,750


There is an extra rank within their section structure - which I have ignored [sections have a commander, then fireteam leaders, then fireteam 2i/cs (ignored)].
The large hike between Cpl and Pl Sgt in the US is explained by an intermediate rank: Staff Sergeants often serve as either section commanders or platoon sergeants sometimes, but for the sake of this exercise, I'll make the Pl Sgt a Sergeant First Class

O-1 15,476 26,371
O-2 20,301 approx. 27,761
O-3 27,525 33,795
O-4 32,866 42,569

These the pure number sans benefits, tax rates or COLA. Calculated using current exchange rate (1 GBP = 1.873 USD)

Anyone else still thinking of switching over? I doubt it.

[I just updated the chart to reflect years of service more accurately. Makes things look less disparate and more realistic.]
 
#13
semper said:
he is, he had a little cardboard saying "at least i don't lie, I need money for beer" this is only last week, everybody seemed to get Hit on every corner for "any change" Social Darwinsim is alive and well in the Great US of A , Home of the Free Land of the Brave , My arse, I would not become a US citizen considering the situation in General in USA , No offence intended toward the ordinary American citizens, thanks but no thanks.

One veteran US navy guy about 60 I chatted with in Utah said "America is no longer what it was cracked up to be compared to his days"
-So San Francisco's downtown is indicative of the Standard of living throughout the USA?
 
#15
LineDoggie said:
semper said:
he is, he had a little cardboard saying "at least i don't lie, I need money for beer" this is only last week, everybody seemed to get Hit on every corner for "any change" Social Darwinsim is alive and well in the Great US of A , Home of the Free Land of the Brave , My arse, I would not become a US citizen considering the situation in General in USA , No offence intended toward the ordinary American citizens, thanks but no thanks.

One veteran US navy guy about 60 I chatted with in Utah said "America is no longer what it was cracked up to be compared to his days"
-So San Francisco's downtown is indicative of the Standard of living throughout the USA?
probably not far off, it is particularly bad in San Francisco, i have seen similar cases in chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas even in Orlando so i would say the system and has let those people down as one previous poster has said funding for mental health and social services has been cut, many of the homeless do look as if they are a few marbles short.
 
#16
semper said:
LineDoggie said:
semper said:
he is, he had a little cardboard saying "at least i don't lie, I need money for beer" this is only last week, everybody seemed to get Hit on every corner for "any change" Social Darwinsim is alive and well in the Great US of A , Home of the Free Land of the Brave , My arse, I would not become a US citizen considering the situation in General in USA , No offence intended toward the ordinary American citizens, thanks but no thanks.

One veteran US navy guy about 60 I chatted with in Utah said "America is no longer what it was cracked up to be compared to his days"
-So San Francisco's downtown is indicative of the Standard of living throughout the USA?
probably not far off, it is particularly bad in San Francisco, i have seen similar cases in chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas even in Orlando so i would say the system and has let those people down as one previous poster has said funding for mental health and social services has been cut, many of the homeless do look as if they are a few marbles short.
To be fair, you can drive through hundreds of smaller towns in the US and never see a homeless or jobless person. They may not all be living affluently but people there are generally employed and have a car/truck and roof over their head. The homeless do tend to congregate in the urban areas.
 
#17
Virgil said:
semper said:
LineDoggie said:
semper said:
he is, he had a little cardboard saying "at least i don't lie, I need money for beer" this is only last week, everybody seemed to get Hit on every corner for "any change" Social Darwinsim is alive and well in the Great US of A , Home of the Free Land of the Brave , My arse, I would not become a US citizen considering the situation in General in USA , No offence intended toward the ordinary American citizens, thanks but no thanks.

One veteran US navy guy about 60 I chatted with in Utah said "America is no longer what it was cracked up to be compared to his days"
-So San Francisco's downtown is indicative of the Standard of living throughout the USA?
probably not far off, it is particularly bad in San Francisco, i have seen similar cases in chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas even in Orlando so i would say the system and has let those people down as one previous poster has said funding for mental health and social services has been cut, many of the homeless do look as if they are a few marbles short.
To be fair, you can drive through hundreds of smaller towns in the US and never see a homeless or jobless person. They may not all be living affluently but people there are generally employed and have a car/truck and roof over their head. The homeless do tend to congregate in the urban areas.
fairly true as the Urban areas have better pickings for "spare change" also have good transport links and big parks to sleep in as Golden Gate Park is now the sleeping spot for vagrants and dropouts in San Francisco, there are an internal support network amongst the homeless of a sort.

it is not right however for social Darwinism to operate freely in the "Richest" nation in the world.
 
#18
At what stage in society do employers stop paying medical insurance, for instance do agricultural workers have their medical bills paid. What is the cost of a medical insurance package for those who are not given theirs by employers. Finally, if medical insurance isn't affordable to the poorest, at what salery does it begin to be affordable for a family???
 
#19
im a lance jack in the infantry. when i was promoted (after a ardous NCO Cardre six weeks winter in scotland) over a year ago my very modest pay rise of about £150 a month was wiped out when the tax credits were removed basicly a pound for a pound. it gets worse when my wife took a job assisting as a nursery assistent when i was the equivelent of a private she earnt us a extra £1,000 our tax credits were reduced by £2,000. a marginal tax rate of 200%. my earnings from lssa whist in iraq working 12-16 hours a day with a total of four days off plus r&R were lost the following year in tax credits. is it gov policy to keep my family poor? the new operational allowance wont do me any good ill lose it in tax credits.
our pay fluctuates by about £4,000 a year. any advice! :x :x

it looks like the yanks are in a bad situation like us, good luck to them at least thier public care and the gov acts, unlike us.
 
#20
jimmy55 said:
it looks like the yanks are in a bad situation like us, good luck to them at least thier public care and the gov acts, unlike us.
Actually, the government doesn't give a crap about us (equipment falling apart, $6 billion hole in the Veterans Administration, etc.).
The public cares, but like everything else here in the States, it's down to small groups to make a difference. None of these can ever have 1/100th the impact that a proper government would. The grass isn't greener....
 

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