We know that volunteerism works, we have many examples of volunteer programs from children’s activities (sport, scouts, 4H) to fire departments. One of the best examples of how volunteerism works better, with NO taxpayer funds, are food pantries.
Food pantries exist because the government taxpayer funded program (SNAP/food stamps) doesn’t work (if it did we wouldn’t need food pantries)
Food pantries in Maine are run strictly on a volunteer basis. A group of concerned citizen’s get together and make one. The space is donated (fundraiser or a sponsoring organization covers building upkeep, utilities and supplies). The food is donated. The work is done by volunteers, because “it matters” and “it does my heart good to help.”
Some people will say that’s nice, but SNAP is such a small percentage of the tax liability to the taxpayer that it really doesn’t matter. Let’s look at some numbers from a quick google search:
SNAP costs taxpayers over 60 Billion ($60,000,000,000) a year.
7% of that (4.2 Billion) goes to administration costs.
There are approximately 60,000 food pantries in the U.S.
There are approximately 143.3 million taxpayers.
What do these numbers mean?
If we took the SNAP budget and gave it to the food pantries we are automatically providing 4.2 billion dollars more on food (no overhead/administration costs)
Each food pantry would have 1 Million dollars to feed their local community and fill in the gaps from donations.
If those funds were given back to (or not taken from) the taxpayer, each taxpayer would have over $418 more than they currently have.(Remember how excited we all were to get $300 back of our taxes in the “stimulus”?)
Food Pantries – Volunteerism at it’s BEST