Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jack London: “Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”

Immediately adjacent to the nearest neighbor of the large estate nearest to stately Goon Manor -- your Third Mate's current landlock -- is a tract of agriculturally-conserved land that is actually used for actual agriculture. Which is to say, "They do farm."
In the pages of this Journal, I often mock my worthy faux farmy neighbors whose hobby farms -- mostly consisting of children's playthings and inutile automobiles -- merely afford them an excuse to dress like slobs and emit barnyard odors on the weekends while meeting me at the local grocery as I purchase more limes for our wetbar's garnish well. But there are real farming going on in Dartmouth (arguably "South Dartmouth") MA...

The Sharing the Harvest YMCA Farm is an effort to alleviate hunger. The farm at the Dartmouth YMCA was created for the express purpose of producing fresh and nutritious fruits & vegetables for distribution to emergency food shelters along the Southcoast of MA. To date more then 45,000lbs.
As is often the case with those who do good works, niceties like grammar or spelling are not particularly consequential, but their hearts are in the right place and there are hungry people benefiting from their work!!1! (Of course, if the original plan for that land had gone through, a chic supermarket would be feeding apricot-cranberry chipotle Wensleydale and saffron risotto to iPad-toting Tea Partiers). Your Third Mate often thrills to the news from right around the corner and the impending success that is Sharing The Harvest.
Sharing the Harvest is a community farm collaboration between YMCA Southcoast, the United Way of Greater New Bedford, and the Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts (a program of the United Way). We started with a one-acre parcel in 2006 that yielded nearly 6,000 lbs of produce. In 2008 we grew more than 15,000 lbs of produce on two acres of land. We look forward to another successful year in 2009. All of the fresh vegetables produced are distributed to area food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs by the Hunger Commission. Thousands of children, families and individuals in need of food assistance from Fall River to Wareham received fresh vegetables thanks to the efforts of volunteers of all ages and abilities.
For those of us who are more charitable and humanitarian while demanding immediate and practical auspice, there's a more immediate and practical means of providing generous encouragement.
You can also help by Sponsoring a Crop ($1,000) or joining Friends of the Harvest ($100+ donation). Donate on-line or mail your gift to the Dartmouth YMCA, 276 Gulf Road, Dartmouth, MA 02748. For more information, email, call the Dartmouth YMCA at 508.993.3361, or fill out the YMCA Volunteer Application on-line. Contact the YMCA Southcoast Development Office for further information on financial support or download the Get Involved Form.
After all, this is a local (for me, not for those of you from the Ukraine who found this Journal by Googling™ "inca mummy girl." Pryvit. Vśoho najkraščoho ! in any case) program that supplies actual locally-grown vegetables to local bellies. Bellies that may be full of monosodiumglutamate- and highfructose corn syrup-laden junk foods.
Or, nothing at all.
Arguably, one of the hugest pimps of high fructose corn syrup is offering them the opportunity to be granted $50,000, as long as they win a popularity contest on a Pepsi propaganda site, where they compete on what might be the most uneven field in the history of corporate giveaways. According to the Official application guidelines, my characterization of "popularity contest" is, of course, incorrect; the artificial sweetener and empty calorie monger's contest is something that they compare to a national election, as shown in this page torn from something:

Ask not what Pepsi can do to push more product... Yes, I can see that. I can also see the striking parallels to the American electoral process, with a conspicuous implication of "fairness." A corporation with an annual purse of $25 million, a Board of Directors and a $2 million advertising budget can compete for a $250,000 grant against any old non-profit with an underpaid and overworked Executive Director with a bunch of volunteers who have a Rolodex and an old office phone.
On the other hand, Pepsi's CEO Indra Nooyi only draws a salary that's a dignified and modest $1.3 million -- not including bonuses and stock -- so maybe that $5000 grant might come out of her own pocket after a day's work. I hear that she rolls that way.
Oh, and don't forget to Facebook and Twitter it.

Because Pepsi just doesn't get enough visibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your write so well. I really enjoy reading your posts. Please keep it going!