I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

The New Face of Poverty?


Last night on my long drive home from work, I was listening to KPFA (as per my usual) and heard a report where they were talking about food banks and pantries and how the face of poverty is changing. The middle class is dwindling right into poverty and how we’re not prepared for this major change. There is an ordinance up for vote in Los Angeles that would make it easier for local business to donate foods that are still good without threat of legal repercussions. Basically, the food and safety regulations currently in place do not allow for this because of set time guidelines or other guidelines that dictate how long a certain food may be kept/stored/served. This is why grocery stores often have to throw out perfectly good food, if they didn’t they could be sued for a number of reasons. This new ordinance would cost the state/city/fed zero dollars and actually cut waste that would otherwise head straight to our landfills.

Well, all of this got me thinking about that changing “face of poverty” and an idea/image popped into my head that made me catch my breath, think and just feel pretty sick overall. I also think it’s a real thing and could happen and well, LA isn’t exactly the fat friendliest place on earth, but…

Can you imagine a fat standing in line for food at a food bank or soup kitchen? Would they be harassed? Would they be refused? I cannot imagine. I don’t know what it is like to have to rely on said food banks and pantries, but I am happy as hell that they are out there to help people who are food insecure. I had never heard that turn of phrase either: food insecure. I get what it means, but never heard it that way before. I mean, when I was a kid, I was just poor. My family never went on well fare or received food stamps, but we probably would have qualified and probably should have. Luckily we were often helped/supported by my grandma.

What about the mom trying to feed her kids? Is she going to be more reluctant because of her size? Doesn’t she work hard enough? Man, I just can’t fathom it. You know? But there are assholes out there who just make it their life’s mission to be a dick to any and all that they possibly can.

My thoughts, love and hope go with you!

If you’d like to hear the broadcast I heard yesterday:

Free Speech Radio News – July 21, 2010 at 3:30pm

Click to listen (or download)
8 Comments to

“The New Face of Poverty?”

  1. On July 22nd, 2010 at 12:38 pm Elizabeth Says:

    Plenty of fats in line for the food bank in my town. No one seems to make a big deal about it. I agree that anti-fat rhetoric makes abuse in that situation a possibility, but then it’s a possibility everywhere, especially anywhere having anything to do with food. It would be a shame if someone let a worry about that keep him/her from using needed resources. But I have to say I haven’t seen anything like that.

    (Now, I don’t go to the food bank–or haven’t since I was kid–but I drive right by it every day to get to my house. I’ve seen many, many fat people in line and it always seems to be a quiet sort of situation.)

  2. On July 22nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks. I suppose anyone in that line has equal amounts of worry/shame and would hopefully not try to add to someone else’s misery. I would imagine that a certain amount of quiet and respect are simply expected in such places. I remind myself and those I know as much as I can that we are all only so far from those situations ourselves and to never look down upon those in need. Times are tough for all of us.

  3. On July 22nd, 2010 at 9:32 pm Meowser Says:

    I would hate to think people think we could just live off our fat indefinitely, without having to eat anything at all, until all the fat is gone, with no disturbance in our physical or mental health at all except for a little stomach-growling. It just doesn’t work that way; if it did, imagine the money we could save, not having to buy any food for months.

  4. On July 23rd, 2010 at 7:52 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Well, yes, those of us with a rational mind can see the problem there. Certainly you must admit that those who would/could harass a fattie anywhere are not of the rational form of thinking. I am not sure what drives a person to do such things (and this post wasn’t to report an actual incident, more just my thoughts on the possibility). Takes all types to make this crazy world go ’round.

  5. On July 23rd, 2010 at 8:52 am Me Says:

    Can I imagine it?


    I’ve had to move back in with my Mom and two kids, one type 1 Diabetic and boy do we struggle! My Mother and I have had to go out on full on MISSIONS just to find some food from various churches and it is EXTREMELY hard to get around with an iffy car and no money for gas.

    We live in Miami and my Mom is pretty heavy set and I have yo-yoed my whole life (finicky thyroid). While we have never been openly harassed I often wonder if sometimes they give her less than me because of her size and probably just give me a bit more b/c of my kids and I always make sure to mention my Daughter’s condition. Their Father is with us but he doesn’t make a whole lot so you can imagine the HELL it was to finally get some food stamps.

    But, yeah, good post, something I can relate to FULLY and thanks for listening!

    God Bless!!

  6. On July 23rd, 2010 at 8:57 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh my gosh! Thank YOU for sharing your story. I must admit that when I read that they might be giving your mom less food because she’s bigger? Oh man, that made me mad! Like, get up and yell at someone mad. And you shouldn’t have to explain about your child’s medical issues. These food offerings should be easier to access, dammit! I am so glad there’s been no harassment. So glad! I’m so sorry that things have been so tough. I know how the iffy car thing can be. Even when it’s running fine, you always worry, always wonder when. Ugh! My thoughts are with you, dear. Please take care of yourself! We (women) always put everyone’s needs before our own. It doesn’t take a dime to take care of your self. Just do one little thing for yourself each day. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Just a simple thing that makes you feel good or grounded or calm. I know time and money are the hardest to come by now, but it will get better. Thank you for commenting & reading.

  7. On July 23rd, 2010 at 8:56 am Me Says:

    Also wanted to add (especially after reading Elizabeth’s comment) that maybe harrassment from fellow food bankees isn’t as plausible seeing as how they’re probaby very overwhelmed with their own problems like getting food or mortgage payments and whatnot.

  8. On July 23rd, 2010 at 8:58 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, I hadn’t thought of that originally. I’m so glad that no one’s commented with a true harassment story. It might just break my heart.

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