Janet Poppendieck
Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement

Paperback | 5.23 x 7.75in | 368 pages
ISBN 9780140245561 | 01 Aug 1999 | Penguin

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In this era of eroding commitment to government sponsored welfare programs, voluntarism and private charity have become the popular, optimistic solutions to poverty and hunger. The resurgence of charity has to be a good thing, doesn't it? No, says sociologist Janet Poppendieck, not when stopgap charitable efforts replace consistent public policy, and poverty continues to grow. In Sweet Charity?, Poppendieck travels the country to work in soup kitchens and "gleaning" centers, reporting from the frontlines of America's hunger relief programs to assess the effectiveness of these homegrown efforts. We hear from the "clients" who receive meals too small to feed their families; from the enthusiastic volunteers; and from the directors, who wonder if their "successful" programs are in some way perpetuating the problem they are struggling to solve. Hailed as the most significant book on hunger to appear in decades, Sweet Charity? shows how the drive to end poverty has taken a wrong turn with thousands of well-meaning volunteers on board.

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Chapter One: Charity for All
Chapter Two: Who Eats Emergency Food?
Chapter Three: The Rise of Emergency Food
Chapter Four: Institutionalization: From Shoestring to Stability
Chapter Five: The Uses of Emergency Food
Chapter Six: The Seductions of Charity
Chapter Seven: What’s Wrong with Emergency Food? The Seven Deadly "Ins"
Chapter Eight: Charity and Dignity
Chapter Nine: The Ultimate Band-Aid

Conclusion

Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

About Janet Poppendieck

Janet Poppendieck is Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is the author of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America; (University of California Press, 2010); Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement (Penguin, 1999); and Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression (Rutgers University Press, 1985).