Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Good Groceries Roam

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One doesn’t have to be perpetually disgruntled to work in the Opposition Media, but it certainly helps. Not every Democrat operative disguised as a newsman can be assigned to the White House, but that doesn’t mean those unfortunates who aren’t can’t contribute to increasing the national vague sense of outrage.

The Washington Post is filled with stories designed to do just that. Recently the Metro section introduced readers to yet another artifact of our corrupt national system: “D.C.’s grocery gap reflects city’s income divide.”

Now don’t make the mistake I did and assume this is another hunger story. Hunger has been vanquished more thoroughly than Al Gore! The War on Hunger is the only successful social program in the history of Democrat handouts. I defy you to visit a school, mall, theatre, bus station, airport or stadium and find undernourished people.

Winning the War on Hunger was not a painless victory. There was collateral damage just like we see in kinetic conflicts. In Afghanistan collateral damage is typically confined to “wedding parties,” which limits the exposure of the general population. Collateral damage from the War on Hunger hit most of our population. Everything from weddings to wakes was affected. Many victims are still burrowing their way out of the adipose rubble, which tends to concentrate on the waist and behind.

America is now the land of the over–nourished.

Even the kids we’re told are one English muffin from disaster and must therefore eat free breakfast and lunches in government schools are fat. Gyms do a booming business because America is fat. Try this experiment and see if you don’t agree: The next time you go to a mall count the number of people you see who aren’t chewing.

Government bureaucrats and non–profit compassioneers have noticed this worrisome trend. The government compassion gravy train doesn’t attract the type of employee who will march in a Victory over Hunger parade through the streets of New York and then go get a real job. They prefer to redefine the mission and keep the tax dollars flowing.

That’s why instead of stories about hunger, we read about “food anxiety.” That’s a term that covers everything from genuine deprivation to worrying about a gas station burrito. The War on Food Anxiety is so nebulous its participants never have to worry about victory being defined. Traveling alongside “food anxiety” in the mission creep cavalcade is the concept of the “food desert.”

This doesn’t refer to a genuine desert like the Mohave where there is no food. “Food deserts” are a snob’s wasteland, like my old home in Odessa, TX, where there are no upscale groceries and people can’t pronounce “quinoa.”

The WaPost story was something of a hybrid. The Post sniffs, “In 2016, nearly 70 percent — or 34 — of the city’s 49 supermarkets were in four wards that are predominantly white and have the District’s highest household incomes, according to the review by D.C. Hunger Solutions, a nonprofit advocacy group.”

This combines Bernie Bro suspicion of capitalist motives with segregated geography paranoia. In this instance call it “whitebread privilege.” As Beverley Wheeler, director of DC Hunger Solutions, warns, “Grocery-store access is a racial equity issue that must be dealt with, and it’s a health issue. We can no longer pretend we don’t see what we see.”

So what is it they are seeing? Duck hunters are notorious for going where the ducks are. Retail merchants, which includes grocers, are equally notorious for building where the money is. It’s not a black thing, it’s a green thing. For the same reason one doesn’t find many Harris–Teeters in Appalachia.

And what good would it do residents of Wards 7 and 8 in DC to have a grocery store where they couldn’t afford to shop? At one time I defined wealth as being able to shop at Sutton Place Gourmet without worrying about the final tab. But I didn’t torture myself by walking up and down the aisles admiring groceries I couldn’t afford to buy.

Are there benefits to envy of which I’m unaware?

Companies look for average income, crime rates, transportation access and available real estate. This makes choosing the site of a grocery store is about as impersonal as statistics can make it. The decision is not based on a whim like choosing the headquarters for the corporation. Those usually land within a short drive or helicopter jaunt from the Chairman’s favorite home.

Frankly I don’t see how convincing the people she purports to help that their grocery stores are second–class is going to improve morale in those wards. Wheeler is quick with complaints and the Post is eager to amplify, but frankly this strikes me as a “problem” that won’t find a solution.

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Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic, entertaining and funny keynote speaker for corporate, non–profit and governmental organizations. In addition to his speaking and consulting, Shannon is an editorial page columnist for Virginia’s News & Messenger.

As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations.

During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. Shannon teaches message development, crisis communication and public relations for The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga Command College, conducts the political advertising and message section of The University of Virginia’s Sorenson Institute and he lectures on message development, politics and lobbying for The Police/Fire Labor Institute.

He is a regular speaker on political commercials, crisis communication and public relations for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has also addressed the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National League of Cities, conducted seminars for Information Management and The University of Arkansas – Little Rock and performed as the keynote speaker for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Shannon’s client list includes SAIC; United National Congress (Trinidad & Tobago); Royal Castle, Ltd.; New Generation Imaging; Dry–Clean Depot; Texas Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn. PAC; Indiana State Police Alliance; Minneapolis Federation of Police; St. Paul Police Federation; Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance; The Peterson Companies; Gleaning for the World; various political candidates and elected officials.

The work Shannon has done in the radio and television arena has been recognized for both creativity and effectiveness. He is a multiple first place winner in the American Association of Political Consultants Pollie awards. Shannon won back–to–back first place Silver Microphone awards for radio commercials. He is a three–time winner of the prestigious Gold statue at the Houston International Film Festival.

Shannon won first place in the Vision Awards for television. He has also won consecutive Silver Microphone awards for best campaign.

1 COMMENT

  1. The article is correct, as far as it goes. Yes, Grocers build stores in financially viable locations. Even government subsidies for “supermarkets” in low income, high crime neighborhoods won’t help. People live in low income areas for a reason, or, more accurately, reasons. Many of those reasons are bad decisions. The rampant obesity in this country was also mentioned in the article. Obesity is most often the result of ongoing poor food choices. The small neighborhood convenience grocery is well equipped to supply prepared, pre-made unhealthy food choices. Dropping customers who don’t know and/or care about healthy food choices in the middle of a store full of organic whole foods ideal for ingredients in healthy home cooked meals won’t change anything. The problem is much deeper than we want to admit. Until, or unless we return to some type of “family” structure that teaches good decision making, concerning food, and everything else.

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