Down and out in Toronto and New York
May 3, 2011 4:06 AM   Subscribe

Down and out in Toronto and New York: Freelance film critic Steven Boone recounts his experiences with the soup kitchens of Toronto and New York in First rate, second rate: In and out of the soup kitchens of Toronto and New York
posted by Harald74 (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Soup kitchens feed people for pennies and don't require a hours of waiting in government offices and arduous paperwork like food stamps do. It's too bad that we think of them as a last resort rather than funding them as the front line.
posted by melissam at 4:15 AM on May 3, 2011


Toronto, a city that is at best an afterthought here in our world capital, has New York City beat, hands-down, in a critical area: soup kitchens.

I can't be the only one to have found this writer's attitude more than a little insufferable. Soup kitchens might be the front line in the war on poverty, but I don't think they should be the front line in our guest services for itinerant "freelance film critics." But that we had remained an afterthought in his precious head.
posted by bicyclefish at 7:48 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soup kitchens might be the front line in the war on poverty, but I don't think they should be the front line in our guest services for itinerant "freelance film critics." But that we had remained an afterthought in his precious head.

To be honest he probably qualifies for foodstamps, which would net him $200 a month in NYC. I worked in food policy for awhile and there are lots of actors, writers, and whatnot on food stamps. Contrast that with soup kitchens, which probably feed this guy for $50 a month due to economies of scale and the fact they use economical ingredients.

Admittedly I got food stamps at one point and figured every time I used them that I'd make up for it when I got a job. I did get a job and now donate every month to organizations that feed the hungry. I hope if this guy makes it big he'll remember the people who helped him.
posted by melissam at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2011


Down and out in Paris and London is essential reading for an understanding of poverty, and available free here
posted by Blasdelb at 9:13 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soup kitchens might be the front line in the war on poverty, but I don't think they should be the front line in our guest services for itinerant "freelance film critics."

The guy was poor and homeless. A poor and homeless itinerant freelance film critic, okay, but poor and homeless nonetheless and not exactly bragging about it. He wasn't just going around trying these places out for fun; he was eating there because he couldn't afford anything else. If he could've afforded to eat at a restaurant and not grab dirty change off the street, I'm sure he would have. I found the article interesting and hope I'm never in a position in my life where I feel I need to eat at a soup kitchen.
posted by wondermouse at 11:28 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amen, wondermouse. A really good read, thanks for the post.
posted by turducken at 11:42 AM on May 3, 2011


I had to wonder at him staying at places that cost $30 a night. You can get a room in Toronto for $100-200/week, and not bad studios for $600-700/month, and I'm pretty sure those places wouldn't check your visa status.
posted by jb at 2:49 PM on May 3, 2011


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