Food programs and the Hispanic population in America

The Food Stamp program had been running ads in Spanish urging, practically demanding, that Hispanics get Food Stamps, dammit! Public outcry made them stop.

Anti-poverty programs have been in place for 50 years. But after pushing abortion at the same time they are pushing poverty, something had to give. The poverty panderers are having to scrape up new clients. Enter Spanish speakers.

According to Fox News:

Part of [the ad] campaign is the Spanish-language radio “novelas,” a 10-part miniseries called “Hope Park.” In it, the characters are shown persistently trying to convince “Diana” to go on food stamps — known these days as SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — even though her husband works and she doesn’t think she needs it.

That Food Stamp program was a real PR challenge. How do you break down the stubborn pride, intelligence and independence of Spanish speakers in the U.S.? How do you convince them they are a discriminated against, ill-treated, starving minority, when they own grocery stores, real estate, mortgage brokerage and insurance offices, and restaurants in small towns throughout the West? When they hold numerous public offices and are the mainstay of American agriculture, both as farm owners and as laborers?

That’s not what the Social Justice crowd wants to hear. At the Multnomah Food Summit, organizers said:

The Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC) recognized Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability as their 2012 Partner of the Year at the Harvesting Hope event on June 14th. FHDC was founded in 1990 to develop and provide affordable housing for one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations – farmworkers.

It has taken a while, but it looks as if a few Hispanics are coming around, though most have put down roots and aren’t having any of that. Some have been with the same employers for years in full-time jobs. Others have struck out on their own – buying or starting businesses. They set up churches. They celebrate elaborate, formal quinceañeros.

Here’s a little more on the housing program, (IFO highly recommends that you spend some time on this site) clearly aimed at Hispanics – is that legal? One market study described a project in Woodburn: “Nuevo Amanecer is one of the most desirable places to live for farmworker households due to its central location and combined package of services.” The building started in 1994.

Two lines later the site notes (in 2010?): “Nuevo Amanecer is also currently undergoing a rehabilitation to address serious “wear and tear” concerns.” The non-updated website said another unit adding 40 families to the current 90 was expected to be completed in 2011.

We imagine that program has slowed a bit. With the recession, non-American Spanish speakers returned to Mexico in droves. And banks stopped lending, even to these extremely tax-advantaged projects. Looking further into the website, we see that only one board member is a businessman – the rest are bureaucrats, retired farmworkers and lawyers. There are 17 staff members.

This boondoggle has not helped the Spanish-speaking population nearly as much as they have helped themselves and may be harming them.


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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