I saw an AP article yesterday in my local paper, which many of you have likely seen. Of course, I can't find it linked on my local paper's website, so here's a link to the exact same article in a paper in Arkansas.
I was really disturbed by this article. The woman won a $100,000 grant for a reason I couldn't find mentioned in the article. She was urged to take a vacation, but didn't. (This led to the question, as an aside, what was the purpose of the grant? Who gave the grant? Did they intend to give grants for vacations?) Instead, she bought 40 digital cameras and gave them to poor mothers to document hunger.
Now, here's my question. Wouldn't those 40 poor families, and many more like them, have been better served had she written a basic guide to eating very frugally, but nutritiously, including the simplest of recipes? She could have had this published through Amazon's Book Surge or Lulu, and I'm sure there are other independent publishers out there. I'm sure $100,000, or even half of that, would have paid to have a lot of copies of such a book published, and she could have simply given them to the welfare department to be handed to everyone who applied for benefits.
I've long believed that poor people could, given the information, cook in a nutritionally sound manner for a small sum of money. A dozen eggs is under $2, as is a pound of spaghetti, and those two items alone would go a very long way to feeding a family of 2, 3 or 4 for a day.
So, was her arranging a photo display of hunger for $100,000 a silly expenditure? Or am I just stupid, and missing something here? After all, remember the old proverb to the effect that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.