Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Grocery Bill

The thrifty plan for a family of four is $146 a week, according to this month's USDA report.  A liberal plan is calculated to be $289.  The numbers are generated as a baseline for determining food assistance levels.

At the beachfront, fishermen bring in their catch of small fish.  
The larger fish are rare these days having been depleted by
 wealthy countries fishing illegally in African waters.
Breadfruit; tastes like a
foam-rubber pillow, but
it's a staple.
In most of the world, that much money would be such a blessing.  For 80% of humanity, the typical family will have a total income that's too small to cover the thrifty plan.

An income of $65 per month is common, and food is not inexpensive.  The all too common result is malnourished children and hungry families.

The pictures here are from a more fortunate country; the climate is tropical and the land is fertile.  For much of sub-Saharan Africa, it's more difficult.
The capital city's marketplace 

The commonly low income isn't due to a lack of effort. Most folks work harder and longer hours than folks in the developed world. Chores for children occupy a portion of every day and often conflict with school. Even places that have clean water still require someone to carry it to the house.

Most folks live simply, most often in houses they build themselves.  Their hope is for staying healthy and feeding their children.  Both are increasingly difficult tasks in a now-global economy dominated by billion-dollar plays in the international finance market.  The price they pay for corn meal is determined in Chicago, New York, and London financial districts.

There are reasons to be thankful if you're living in the developed world, and there are opportunities to be a help-bringer here and elsewhere.  Ask.