Friday, March 31, 2023

Back to the Future: WF Buckley's Idea for Feeding All the Poor.

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 In the early 1960s, William F. Buckley Jr. proposed a radical idea for feeding centers: serve only simple, nutritious food so that no one would go hungry. This idea may seem like common sense today, but at the time, it was a revolutionary concept that challenged the prevailing attitudes towards poverty and hunger.

 Buckley, a conservative commentator and founder of the National Review, proposed this idea in the context of the War on Poverty, a series of federal programs aimed at addressing poverty in the United States. In a 1962 column for the National Review, Buckley argued that instead of relying on government handouts, feeding centers should focus on providing nutritious, simple meals to those in need. 

He believed that this approach would be more effective in combating hunger and would also help to foster a sense of self-reliance and dignity among the recipients. However, more than six decades later, it is still hard to find feeding centers that serve only simple, nutritious food. Many feeding programs rely on donations from grocery stores and restaurants, which often means that the food served is high in fat, salt, and sugar. While these donations are appreciated and can be a valuable resource, they can also contribute to the very health problems that the feeding programs are trying to alleviate. 

 One reason why it is so difficult to find feeding centers that serve only simple, nutritious food is that it can be more expensive to prepare and distribute. Simple meals, such as rice and beans, require basic ingredients and equipment, but they also need to be cooked and served in a way that is safe and hygienic. In contrast, processed and packaged foods can be more convenient and cost-effective, but they are often high in calories and low in nutrients. 

 A Socrates Cafe revisiting the idea of serving simple, nutritious food in feeding centers is an important reminder that addressing hunger and poverty requires more than just charity or government assistance. It requires a commitment to supporting healthy and sustainable food systems that can provide for everyone in our communities. As we continue to work towards this goal, we can look to William F. Buckley Jr.'s vision for inspiration and guidance on how to create a more just and equitable society.

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