Has the nonprofit sector stopped caring about poverty?

As pending legislation about food stamps threatens the security of low-income Americans, Pablo Eisenberg has a sharp criticism of Congress, President Obama, and, most importantly, the nonprofit sector: they “have stopped caring about the plight of the poor.” He explains (Chronicle, 8/7):

Today, matters of poverty seem to be off the radar screen of nonprofits. That couldn’t be more evident than in the failure of nonprofits to rush to oppose the massive assault on food stamps now working its way through the House of Representatives.

It is an embarrassment to our country that the nonprofit organizations created to serve society, let alone the political system, are so little concerned about economic inequity and social justice. How did nonprofits lose their sense of decency?

What do you say, folks? Do you agree with Eisenberg? Is the nonprofit sector misaligned?

COMMUNITY | Five years ago, the Partnership for Prince George’s County launched to address the many challenges facing the county and its nonprofit community. Since then, the Partnership has leveraged collaborative relationships between funders, nonprofits, and community stakeholders to establish a network that is making a big difference in the county.

In the Daily, Desiree Griffin-Moore, executive director of the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County, reflects on progress made and exciting possibilities for moving forward. (Daily, 8/7)

Related: On August 15th, the Partnership for Prince George’s County invites funders to celebrate the LEAD Class of 2013 and the achievements of some of the best nonprofits in Prince George’s County. [More info and registration.]

YOUTH | Our children are shrinking! But it’s a good thing. New data show that obesity rates among low-income preschoolers has declined over the last few years. Rates are also dropping among school-age children. The data come from the Centers for Disease Control, which says (say? is CDC plural?) that it seems that we may have reached a “tipping point” in the obesity epidemic (WaPo, 8/7):

Maryland’s rate fell from 15.7 percent in 2008 to 15.3 percent in 2011. The District’s rate also dipped slightly, from 13.3 percent to 13.1 percent for the same period, but was counted among the places where the rate held steady.

Virginia doesn’t have data available. Generally, the obesity rates seem to be declining thanks to better access to fresh produce, an increase in breast-feeding, and better fitness.

FOOD | The Union of Concerned Scientists has a new report out that argues that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption can save lives and billions of dollars in health cares costs a year. (UCS, 8/6)

Related opinion: The NYT’s Mark Bitman shares his thoughts on the report. (NYT, 8/6)

Related music: Neil Young has an awesome song called “Homegrown.” Here’s a version from last year’s Farm Aid, featuring Willie Nelson. Young talks about food/farm policy for the first 4:50 of the video if you’re interested, or skip to that mark for the song.

FUNLANTHROPY | The District recently received a grant to hold an “Innovative Urban Play Space Competition,” which means that designers will be challenged to create art-based possibilities for play spaces. The city is looking for funding partners to bring the winning designs to life. (Elevation DC, 8/7) Perhaps I will design an M.C. Escher-esque playground.

EDUCATION | Why Talented Black Students Attend Lousy Colleges (Fiscal Times, 8/7)


I have TWO Jim Henson inspired things to share today! First, the teaser trailer for the next Muppets movie. The trailer didn’t do much for me, but the last movie was pretty darn good. Second, Cookie Monster’s version of the song “I Love It.”

Rebekah will be holding down the fort for a few days as I wander north to my girlfriend’s homeland, a strange place called Rhode Island. See you all soon.