Monday, April 21, 2008

Revealing survey information. . .

Here at Central Dallas Ministries we endeavor to measure what goes on. We pay more and more attention to outcomes, trends and the stories that statistics weave for our consideration.

About this time last year we received the following feedback from the neighbors who come to us seeking solutions to pressing issues.

The first report is encouraging. The second, very hard to read. Revealing stuff.

A March 2007 Community Health Services (CDM's health) clinic survey found that 93% of patients reported improvement in their health, 80% said they were better able to participate in daily activities and 90% said CHS had contributed in a meaningful way to their overall health.

Good news!

A May 2007 Food Pantry survey found that 91% of neighbors say the assistance received at the food pantry has helped them deal with their personal financial crises.

Sixty-one percent (61) reported that in the past 12 months they were forced to cut the size of their meals or skipped meals because there wasn't enough money for food. And, 66% ate less than they felt they should because there wasn't enough money to buy food at some point over the preceding 12 months.

Of those surveyed, 42% reported buying less food because they needed to pay for medicine and/or medical care.

Fifty percent (50) bought less food so they could pay for utilities, while 47% bought less food so they could pay their rent/mortgage.

Bottom line bad news (and no surprise): poor people are forced to make hard choices unknown to most of us on a regular basis, choices that affect the quality of their lives in significant ways. What is really disturbing here is the fact that so far this year our demand in the Food Pantry is up over 30%. I'm not looking forward to reading results of the next survey.

We must find ways to do better, don't you think?



Anonymous said...

The U.S. economy is such a massive "ship." It's hard to know how to turn it. It can feel like something very much out of our control.

Justin said...

We're all gonna start feeling the pinch pretty soon. Rationing due to shortages are happening in CA right now because those that make their living using wheat products are trying to buy in bulk before the prices in the futures market take effect.

Not to mention, riots are occurring all across third world nations for the same reason, and since February, for the first time ever, the US has had to import wheat. That's import... the breadbasket of the world doesn't have enough wheat to feed itself.

And we can blame this all on government inflating the currency to fix the housing crisis that it started, and even moreso on government subsidies and regulations regarding ethanol as fuel.... and other things in the farm bill. Who'd have thought requiring a certain amount of our fuel having to be made out of food would cause massive increases in prices in... well... all food?

I think we all could have figured that one out if we weren't so blinded by our desire to stop global warming. Now we have a more imminent problem. Starvation.