Comments about ‘Salt Lake volunteers package 5,000 meals for typhoon victims’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12 2013 9:24 p.m. MST

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JBQ
Saint Louis, MO

What a wonderful act of kindness. The Philippines has been devastated. In WWII, they were great friends to America. Many guerillas died in slowing down the Japanese invaders. Japan wanted to create a great Asian colonial empire. The Philippines could very easily have gone that route. There was a great reason that MacArthur stated that he "would return". The American military wanted to "leap frog" past Manila. He put his foot down and went ashore personally. He was a great friend to Asia and served as the administrator of a recovering Japan. America needs to say thank you and get really involved. The American Navy is already there. The logistics are daunting. "Boots" are on the ground. A big thank you to Tagalog speakers everywhere.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

My heart too is warmed by such accounts.

I am, however, waiting for the typical comments on how the church has too much money and is selfish in how they spend it and how they should be doing more to help the needy.

adazzle.dim
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

What is really needed is cash--food and resources can be transported to the site of the typhoon much more cheaply from Asia than they can from Salt Lake or even California--many times the number of people could be fed for the same amount of money and effort, and much more quickly. It's a shame that people don't research respected and efficient disaster relief charities (using tools like CharityNavigator) and donate generously to them. I don't know if any/many of the people involved in this program are LDS, but the LDS church is trying to move its members away from the belief that it is best to contribute food and supplies to foreign disasters, and instead encourage them to donate money to charities that serve the affected areas. It's a shift to a system that is more efficient and gets help to the hurting much more quickly.

That being said, the intentions here are good, and I admire the impulse to help.

DGIW
Salt Lake City, UT

Actually Stop Hunger Now is an organization that has a warehouse in the Philippines. One of the reasons that they were such a good choice for this particular disaster is that they can immediately get food moving to the area as well as get the warehouse in the area to start production. I am actually flying out with them on Saturday to go and help with the packaging in country. I do agree that by not doing research it is a waste of time and energy and I LOVE that a company like Molding Box and Stop Hunger Now were able to get the community involved in something that is directly effecting that area immediately. They brought together all faiths for the event LDS, Catholic, Atheist, Agnostics, really humans regardless of faith who wanted to do more than just write a check.

Charity Navigator sounds awesome thanks for sharing that I am a big fan of supporting people that actually get the job done :)

dick in cedar
Cedar City, UT

adazzle, you are right, cash is faster. the problem with relief efforts here in the philippines is two fold. first, in tacloban there is no food to buy. there is no food period. there are no supplies to buy. i am hoping that the us military aircraft that were helping to evacuate people (luckily the airmen spotted the missionaries and helped them find room on board) were coming in loaded with food and supplies.

second, is the corruption. many of the officials will be adding their cut to the permits and processes to distribute relief. that doesn't count the people actually with the charities who also take a cut or make sure a friend or relative gets to charge a little extra to move the help along. the only organization that gets the most bang for the buck is the lds humanitarian charities. all the grunt work is by volunteers. minimal needs to pay someone to get the job done. and they are on site now distributing help - supplies, food, etc. no cash.
thank you stop the hunger. probably one of the first on site. hope they are all safe.

adazzle.dim
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I obviously didn't mean send cash to buy nonexistent supplies in the Philippines! I said send cash to buy supplies in Asia--send cash to a charity, they buy supplies in Japan, for example, and fly it into the Philippines. It's what they're asking us to do in this disaster and increasingly in all distant disasters. As for corruption, I'm sure you're right, but that has nothing to do with cash donation to charity vs. food donation.

I just re-read this story, and am comforted to note that it doesn't say that they are flying a mere 5000 meals all the way from SLC to the Philippines (though the headline suggests they are), but rather that the meals packaged here may go toward Stop Hunger Now's regular domestic hunger alleviation, while presumably meals that were assembled closer to the Philippines will be shipped out for aid. That makes much more sense and makes me worry less that this charity is more about delivering warm fuzzies than about delivering timely, efficient help to those suffering. However, the organization's score on CharityNavigator.org is not stellar. Might want to investigate before donating to them.

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