Idea I had last night watching Food, Inc.:
Take an abandoned building in an inner city. A generally low-income area. Maybe a parking garage for a building that had promise, but totally flopped. So really, just a shell of a building with multiple floors. Add glass walls around the perimeter, and mirrors on the interior to bounce the light around. BAM gigantic urban greenhouse. Maybe there could be a program where people in the neighborhood are the ones running it (probably kids or underemployed people) in return for produce or discounts on produce. That part is up for debate. Main concept is to provide local, organic food to the people who have the hardest time getting it.
Because most of my reaction to the movie was, "Yeah I know, I know." I've already been through the stages of outrage at the lack of "good" food generally available to me. But I have the resources to seek it out, and I make an effort to do so. What made me super ragey was thinking about the vicious cycles of poverty and health, and the subsequent judgments from people with plenty of resources. People with very little money work a bunch of hours to make next to nothing. Their food dollars, and in a lot of cases food stamps, don't go far. And they have to buy food that is FAST. And the cheapest, fastest options are the worst. The worst worst worst things that nature never intended for a human to consume. So people with limited funds get fat, and they get diabetes. And people with less limited funds are all, "IF THEY'RE SO POOR, WHY ARE THEY FAT???" or, "IT IS SUCH BULLSH*T THAT MY TAX DOLLARS HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM GETTING DIABETES FROM DRINKING TOO MUCH SODA."
GAH! UGH! THE RAGE! SO MUCH RAGE!!! I just can't even deal with it, it's too much.
A friend of mine recently told me about an idea she had for "homeless person goodie bags." Because you don't want to give them money because they'll buy booze LOLZ!! I was so flabbergasted I couldn't even form a sentence other than, "Please shut up immediately." The goodie bags, by the way, would contain things like travel-sized deodorants and mouthwash (WE CAN ONLY HOPE SHE MEANT THE ALCOHOL-FREE KIND).
I love this friend. She is one of my favorite people. But her idea just made me so sad, because I know how many people would hear that and think, "What a great idea!" And genuinely believe it. Because so many people have never really thought about what it means to be poor in this country beyond, "It would be hard to buy stuff." And they don't take the time to think to themselves, "Holy SH*T I am SO FCKING FORTUNATE."
This is a broad-ass topic. And I don't have the bandwidth to get into all the implications, and I might be unfairly lumping low-income in with homeless here, mostly for the purposes of illustrating some of the attitudes each of them is up against. I can only hope that most people I know have wisened up to the totally ridiculous food industry we've allowed to control our supermarkets, and have made changes for themselves. But now it's time to look outside ourselves and make it better for everybody. In summary: Fck motherfcking Monsanto and the constantly growing income disparity in America. So. Fcking. Hard.