I have spent most of this week with a good friend and his family in Georgia assisting as best I could after the death of a son. The funeral was yesterday.
It was quite an amazing thing to me. At the funeral of this young man of age 20, whose father had confided to me some time past was gay, was honored and respected by old high school friends and new friends acquired during two years of college.
He was perhaps the classic gay man of this day: confident in his social mores but lacking in the ability to exert them in force and also lacking both resources and understanding of their impact. You could say he believed in “the commune” and did not care if e destroyed it in an attempt to bring it into place. He after all was not unlike many we have seen in protest over the last 18 months who remain a resident of mom and dads basement, yet believe their ideals are higher than mom and dads for certain.
This of course added to the pain of the events that had unfolded for both family and close friends. Out of this however, I think a new way to mold a new direction of thought for those so caught up in dependency in America will be born. It will flow from the father’s business that is primarily both a grocery chain coupled to an even larger wholesale food trade.
All good things require two things: money and a prototype. 😯 The idea is a rather simple one: help people in need without contributing to their continued dependence upon government. The pieces to the puzzle are:
* A non-profit grocery store set in a community as the prototype.
* The identification of people in need through local churches.
Churches are important for several reasons. For one, they are always aware of a broader base of need than your local welfare office. They see people in need who refuse to become dependent on government but still need assistance. Their purpose will be to identify households with incomes below the poverty line but who are not receiving any Federal or State food assistance. A single mother with children easily qualifies. A single other living with boyfriend or dad who she never bothered to marry need not apply. (Ok. Pause. Hell raising begin. It is my cash stupid and that of a dead boys dad. Don’t like it: fuck off. If you want to discuss the whys of this, send me an e-mail.)
The second reason churches are important is that they deal with need and have organizational capacity. Here’s how it will work in the rough.
I have no desire to create an entity that will pay taxes to the U.S. or any State government. What would have been profits will go to those who are enrolled in the program, plus a kicker amount paid to all customers via reduced prices in order to increase their “flow” into the store. Those enrolled in the program may see a 25% to 50% reduction in pricing but what they can purchase in the course of a month will be capped. This comes into play because one does not want to be in the business of converting cash to a black market of goods funneled through enrollees. A “blended” market basket is also required. This prevents what you so often see with folks on food assistance who load up at the meat counter for the sole purpose of re-selling on th street.
So in honor of Edward, let’s drive in a new direction. I wonder how long it will take major grocers to see the light and make threats or do the same themselves.