I can't resist commenting on the Common Table troubles, as detailed in the column in the Bulletin today.
There are a couple of points that seem to come up again and again, in Bend (and in this blog.)
First, that something that "works" elsewhere doesn't work in Bend. According to the story, all but one of the 18 other "non-profit" restaurants were in more populous areas.
Well, there you go. It won't be the first time that Bend tried to act like it was as big as elsewhere.
But more than that, Bend is different. I really believe that. We have strange demographics....
I've explicated that I think it's because of our relative isolation. We don't really have another metro area for at least 130 miles, over the High Cascades. We don't 'really' have a 4 year college. We are isolated by the fact we aren't connected to an Interstate -- the same 130 mile distance. I think, as well, we don't have a whole lot of strong industry here -- we are a retirement and tourist destination. I think second-home and retired people and tourists act differently overall than long-term residents. Oldtimers act differently than newcomers.
Truth is, though, I don't really know why Bend is so different. I just know, when I compare it with the experiences of other towns, we always seem a little ...off.
Secondly, I just don't believe that mixing profit and non-profit works well together. Whether it's a profit store that asks for non-profit contributions or volunteers or a non-profit store that tries to turn a profit. In the first case -- well, that's kind of scuzzy. In the second case -- well, doesn't seem cost effective.
Other -- true -- non-profits can make meals for the cost of 1.00, according to the article. So, I'd have to say, the money stretches quite a bit further, without blurring the goal.
So it comes down to the experience of the poor sitting down next to the rich. I'm not sure why this can't happen any old time. Just head on down to Drake Park, and strike up a conversation. In fact, it probably happens every day at McDonalds. Or even more often, at the public library. It seems like a "do-gooder" idea to me, but one that doesn't have a lot of long term viability.
Unless a bunch of you are doing this on a regular basis? I'd be more than glad to be wrong about this.
I mean, if it works --- great.
But it it doesn't work -- you have to wonder how many meals could be distributed for the same cost.
3 days ago