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Married in America: how does the free distribution of products in the US



Irkutsk journalist Marina Lykova, who married an American several years ago, tells interesting things about her marriage and life in the United States. Today we will talk about a food bank - a food bank where you can get food for free.

Фото: Depositphotos

The Americans living here persuaded me to write this text for a long time. I have been living here in the States for almost eight years, and I have never had a desire to do this. First of all, because I do not like to write without supporting the text with photographs, Marina writes in a blog In this case, I sincerely did not want to climb into the faces of people unfamiliar with the camera with me and thus put them in an uncomfortable position. All those hungry, poor and poor, who receive grocery assistance from, say, a local grocery bank. Yes, it will be a good deed - free food to help the starving of America.

To begin with, I will briefly explain what a “food bank” is and why it is eaten. In a spacious hangar equipped with a refrigerator, food is collected. Like streams, rivers and streams flock to the ocean, so does the “treasury” in this non-profit organization. They bring here what they can. Someone pulls a frozen turkey, someone canned.

That farmer decided to share the corn cob harvest, and the lonely myopic old woman silently, I see, writes a check, helping the Food Bank financially. (This is if we are talking about private donators who take care of the starving neighbors.) Or, the food comes here like this - completely free of charge from local supermarkets. For example, the shelf life of a product is nearing its end; goods are removed from the shelves. What to do with him? You can, perhaps, just throw it away. But for the removal and disposal of "garbage" (and it will not be easy for the Russian person to present the daily volumes of "garbage" from American supermarkets). But it is possible to give the same slightly overdue and slightly spoiled goods to those in need. Yes, and with this and a deduction for charity to get taxes.

In America, almost every fourth receives donations in the amount of a couple hundred dollars.

Photo: Marina Lykova’s personal archive

I heard that in order to become a recipient of gratuitous state money, an American constrained in money should not work or earn less than 15 000 dollars a year. That is the order of 70 000 rubles monthly. (I note that food in America is cheaper than in Russia.) If we lick such “help” from America, then it will be necessary to plant on these ration cards, it turns out, the whole country? I do not know what this will lead to. I am afraid that to exactly the same general degradation of society, as in the United States. Well, let's not talk about sad things. So, a little more about how plastic works for the poor. Per person by card (the first day of each month!) Is transferred by 250 dollars (well, or so). That is, 1200 bucks is falling on the card for a family of mothers with her seven children. Monthly.

It seems like food and the essentials - soap, condoms, toilet paper, pads, shampoos. But if food, like condoms, pads, are distributed almost at every step by absolutely nothing and boxes, boxes, boxes and boxes, as well as carts and gurneys (!), Then it’s no wonder that money from a grocery card designed to keep up the seemingly trousers of the hungry who are falling away from the unimaginable thinness of thinness, they don’t go for food at all. Where? To pay for renting a house, for smoking and tattoos, often for buying new cars on credit, on televisions with a full-screen screen, on gold and other decorations, on false eyelashes - “butterfly wings” and pedicure-manicure. The first or second day of every month in beauty salons, which is simpler and cheaper, everything is clogged. Women, old and young, but for some reason for the most part completely toothless and unimaginably fat representatives of “starving America” urgently rush to induce beauty.

... The cargo van of the city Food Bank visits the local shops three times a week from early morning on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Products are delivered to the Bank, sorted and stored. It is not long for all these white bread rolls, yoghurts with expiring shelf life on lids and fading yellow courgettes to wait in time: in our town with a population of 60 000 people all food collected in one place will be distributed very soon. Immediately in several places and on different days and hours here are organized points of aid to the starving population.

That is, besides the fact that the urban poor with families can eat daily in the free dining room of the Salvation Army, which provides hot three-course dinners, and all summer in all city parks children under 18 are fed with free lunches (and no one asks whether their parents work, and if so, who earns as much as they can, the people in need here often and generously supply with food for a long time. And this is in addition to Food Stamps (the so-called grocery cards), which receive everything here, it seems. With rare, however, the exception.

I and my husband, like my daughter, have never had this blue-red-white plastic and, I believe, will not: we are too good, well fed and happy, but above all we respect ourselves too much to allow ourselves to live By the life that lives here, it seems, every fifth of the six.

Photo: Marina Lykova’s personal archive

To lick, so to speak, successful American experience and introduce food ration cards for the poor in Russia as a variant of targeted food aid like Food Stamps. I do not like it. I have always been proud that the Russians have always put their children on their own feet, solved their own problems and fed themselves differently to the Americans, who give birth in packs, not at all thinking about what they can give to their offspring. Other American mothers breed like little rabbits, because they know that the state will feed, sing, learn. Moreover, if you have children, you can not work, but live comfortably. Because the state will take care. But do not forget that almost half of the US population is below the poverty line and never (never!) Will not be able to get out of there.

Obama (more precisely, my and other working law-abiding citizens who pay taxes in America) money, perhaps, go to drugs. Why not? There are such assumptions. It’s not for nothing that the idea was repeatedly put forward here, before you throw another portion of money onto the card, you must first send the head of the family to pee in a plastic jar under the supervision of a doctor. There is no drug in the urine - money for life will be. Have a drug? Go away! I know what is called, first-hand, like American mothers with small children, having received such a jar (for example, when it comes to women's health), they go to the toilet. With kids. And one of the babies is pissing in a jar, because their mother is firmly seated on heroin. I am not surprised by this, because I am not surprised at anything here at all. After all, it was here, in America, that I learned, almost unmistakably, from the state of the skin and teeth of an oncoming person, to determine whether a passer-by person uses drugs, and if so, which ones. And yes, by a completely coincidence, the owners of the blackened, thinned look of the terrible teeth of the “meta” (methamphetamine) or others like him are happy owners of grocery plastic cards, for which - whatever happens! - the amount of money necessary for life will always fall. Darma money. And yes, all this feast during the plague is from my own pocket.

I feed from the belly, and at the same time I embellish the entire army of America with nothing piercing eyelashes, tattoo and false eyelashes. Just because I pay taxes.

Today is Monday and just the day the food is distributed. Canned food, cereals, eggs, drinks, vegetables and fruits, fish and meat, tea and coffee, cheeses and sausages, cakes and pastries. In other words, all that was not sold. And unsold remains here, as a rule, that which is not in daily demand. That is something that costs more than usual. In other words, it is de-ka-te-sy.

- We have more products for distribution than people who come after them! - laugh old volunteers. Free labor - American retirees, having nothing to do, and for the sake of at least some social life, helping the Bank pack up products and distribute food to the “poor in the American manner” is worthy of genuine admiration. But it’s not about them.

- Yes, but we always have too much! We try because Marina, put more people in the boxes! Let them eat and do not deny themselves anything! - adds a volunteer working here (that is, thanks) my old friend.

- Yeah! America! - I add to myself.

Photo: Marina Lykova’s personal archive

That guy with whom I have known for seven years, I remember, is six years younger than me. So, he is now somewhere 36 — 37. He then, seven years ago, was in business, at a normal salary, by local standards. But after working for a couple of months, he suddenly said that he would not work anymore, because his wife decided to hit the business, and he would be like a driver for her. I then, I remember, very much doubted that out of his uneducated kvashni wife, who had never worked for a day and could not even conduct a small talk, would get at least something, but wished them good luck. Now I see him in line for free food. He is not alone. He is with his wife and four sons, and they are all dressed in some kind of strange rags.

Boys have expressions of debility of varying brightness on their faces, mother’s failed businesswomen's teeth are eaten by methamphetamine, and their truck with a starry flag fluttering in the warm August wind even in a deep Russian village would have found its last refuge in an auto graveyard.

There is a family, including an old mother of my friend, in a broken trailer (carriage) without wheels. Parents and grannies of these black-haired boys with traces of idiocy on their faces know for sure that their “clever men and handsome men” will never go to university and are unlikely to, like their parents with their grandmother, want to work. Because from the first years of life they know that there will always be someone who will supply them with a box or two of all kinds of different foods. Tasty food. And, most importantly, gratuitous. They even, I suppose, believe that it should be so. And that will always be so. Because everyone owes them everything. Must feed. Must help. Must save. It reminded me of the words of a long time ago not young patient in a local hospital where my friend works as a nurse: “I am a rape victim! And I'm mentally retarded! How can you ever deny me anything? I note that the maid looks a bit like a mentally retarded and even more so a sacrifice, but she always says that when something goes “not for her”. Not the way she wants. She, according to her, “poor”, has long since passed through that it is easier to live this way. It's easier to live like this when others pity you. When the dust particles are blown away from you and carry everything you want on a platter. It is worth a little to move a finger ... and already both good people around, and the state, and churches for every taste, always ready to fork out for all your needs.

But back to the sheep. More precisely, to the boxes with eggs, with pepsi-cola, with last year's potatoes.

With a mountain of canned (canned red, black, green beans, the shelf life of which has not yet expired). With a slightly beaten carrot and still usable boxes of protein bars in colorful wrappers, which are now so fashionable to eat instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner, because all of America seems to be following weight! With mild, overripe watermelons and bananas, which have already become a bit, in a barely noticeable black speck.

All this and other free stuff can be obtained not only in the Food Bank and its food distribution point, but also, for example, in churches. Say, the local Mormon church has its own distribution point for food and essential goods. And to go there to buy, do not even, they say, be a Mormon. More precisely, they say, not necessarily. Here you can not even go to church on purpose (in the sense of not praying there) and not asking for anything, but they will help you anyway. Because there are, it turns out, and such stories.

My friend from St. Louis (California) 70-year-old mother, just moved to the States, went for a walk around the city. I went by chance, for the sake of curiosity, to the first church that I came across and, not realizing that they had asked her there, nodded her head. Now she’s filled up with food: every month, for the second year already, boxes of food are brought to her house, and the poor mother of her friend does not already know where to put all these sausages, cheeses, and fruits. And this is despite the fact that the American husband of my friend, who is older than her by a quarter of a century and really wealthy, rewrote the house worth 2 000 000 dollars to his young and full of strength Russian wife. Now, if I were a volunteer delivering foodstuffs, I would have a question: “Can a person living in such a domino be undernourished due to lack of livelihood?” But then I, accustomed to all doubt Russian. Americans are not like that. They always believe everything in their word and will never critically evaluate a person or situation. Which, apparently, gives rise to such “poor” games with the American system.

Before the distribution of food is still two hours, and people armed with empty cardboard boxes and huge plastic containers silently get out of their own (often completely new!) Cars that are approaching here, barely moving legs, trudging lazily, but purposefully, like a zombie, to the tail of the queue.

No one speeds up a step and is in no hurry, because everybody knows for a long time that everything in bulk will be enough for everyone. No one communicates with anyone and does not start dating, although the faces have become familiar for years.

I see among them many of those whom I have met more than once while working in a city bakery. They are regular customers ordering huge cakes every month. On the first day of each month they come with an order for the next three-tiered cake, because what not to order, if there is no place to put the money in your pocket? I am not one of a dozen, but I still can’t understand why these people are apatosaurs with huge asses and disproportionately tiny heads, who are difficult to take off from the crushed sofas, from the included 24-hour TV and from the endless stream of free zhrachki for some reason with enviable persistence go around in order to collect more provisions all possible charity points, boldly identifying themselves as an army of the hungry? To those who without the help of the state and the good Samaritans will not survive?

... Recently I saw a TV report about how badly the hungry people of America live badly. On American TV, an American journalist told and showed the life and life of a typical dark-skinned family. I don’t think that skin color matters here. It could be a family of Mexicans or someone else who has found a way to embrace the state. So, the lone mother and her eight dark-skinned children live on the allowance, and nearly a thousand and a half of greens fall on their cards every month. The food they also get for free, so much so that dogs from the belly are fed with steaks, balls of mozzarella cheese and ice cream for dessert. (Dog food, dry and other food, I note, the family also receives free from an animal shelter.) “Because not every American is able to feed himself and children. So what can we say about animals? ”- reason, apparently, there. Medical care for single mother and her children is free. School children (more precisely, their mother) is not worth a penny, as well as food, respectively. For some reason (here I had the impression), children (as well as adults!) From the poorest segments of the population are more willing to take free tuition at colleges and other educational institutions, about studying in which normal (read “working, more talented and intelligent”). ) man can only dream. Yes, one more thing: a young, pustnogrudayaya mother of eight is not at all alone. She lives with the unemployed, but also living on the benefit of a black boyfriend. He is not the only father of her children, but she never married.

- What for? Alone with children, the state will give more benefits, money, zhrachki. Work? I have never worked in my life. Not a day! - declares, not at all embarrassed, a woman.

Here is the family in the jeep. Satisfied leave, loading boxes of sausage, cheese, milk, canned food. In a week they will come again. The recipients of free food each time in the queue pretend that they see each other for the first time: after all, they are all in the line for the free food. But at the same time, everyone wants to somehow show that he was completely accidental here: not for himself, but for a sick friend, they say, I try ...

Photo: Marina Lykova’s personal archive

Volunteers are happy to fulfill their responsibilities for accepting and sorting thousands of kilograms of food for distribution to anyone. As a rule, pensioners who have everything in life, but are bored, work at the Bank of Food. So it seems to them that they are engaged in an important social matter.

Photo: Marina Lykova’s personal archive

Boxes, bales, boxes ... The Food Bank acquires the bulk of its products for pennies from, say, canned corn producers. On a jar worth a dollar label lay krivenko? The grocery bank buys the entire batch of such goods at the price of 10 cents per jar, because the “marriage” (the label, remember, was crooked) and because it was in bulk.

Photo: Marina Lykova’s personal archive

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