Synopses & Reviews
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.
About the Author
Janet Poppendieck is a professor of sociology at Hunter College of the City University of New York and Assistant Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. She is the author of Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression.
Table of Contents
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