Today’s top headline in the Commercial Appeal reads “S. Memphis section hungers for food store.”
The story could have been written by Michelle Obama with a few local references thrown in. The Food Desert Oasis Act, co-sponsored by our own Steve Cohen, is one of her goals to get Americans to eat healthy. Or so she would say.
In reality, it’s a farce and a creative way to funnel federal funds to Democrat backers. The bill bemoans the fact that some poor neighborhoods have no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Illogically, the argument made is that if there were such grocery stores in their neighborhoods, residents would reject twinkies, pork rinds or pizza for apples, chicken breasts or veggie burgers. For this, the taxpayer is asked to fork over billions of dollars. Like LBJ’s War on Poverty, the money will flow but the good results will not.
And we’re only talking about a 1.93 square mile patch. “Just going to a real grocery store becomes a heroic effort,” says Ken Reardon, a U of M planning director. Since obesity is such a threat and is a reality for so many Memphians, maybe they need a little more “heroic” effort. Isn’t that part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” fitness campaign?
Wouldn’t it be cheaper if we just had community organizers go in and distribute fresh produce? That would even eliminate the possibility that some families don’t want to eat spinach and pears. They’d have to accept the tyranny the Democrats love.
Where is the role of churches in this endeavor? Where is the effort by fellow Memphians to be good Samaritans? It could be argued that when government steps in, others step out. It’s easier to chuck your compunctions when some vague entity is supposedly taking care of this for you.
The subhead on page 2, “The Zip Code that food forgot,” isludicrous. You’d think there was no transportation out of this two mile long prison.
Maybe there would be more grocery stores if the community hadn’t let crime take over. Another recent article centered on Hadron’s appliance store in the Jackson neighborhood. Owner Steve Stotts liked the residents, but could no longer justify staying in a crime ridden area where his life was in danger.
Until some of these deeper issues are resolved, none of these half measures will affect change. It’s got to come from self examination by our own communities, fed by a resolve for better lives.