Thursday, July 29, 2010

Letter sent to Libby and L&F Board regarding unhealthy meals that are served

Following is a copy of a letter sent — Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM — to CEO Libby Fernandez and copied to the L&F Board of Directors, relating to the meals that are served by the homeless-help nonprofit. Twenty hours later, I was 86ed for life from the Loaves & Fishes facility. During the short meeting when I was told I was 86ed for Life, I was told that I would not be informed either why I was being 86ed, nor who made the decision.

from  Tom Armstrong email
to  Libby Fernandez email

cc: Bob Pinkerton email
Chris & Dan Delany email
David Leeper Moss email
David Moss email
Don Fado email
"Dorothy R. Smith" email
Gerrie Baskerville email
Karen Banker email
Kathleen Kelly email
Kelly Tanalepy email
LeRoy Chatfield email
Norm Fadness email
Tim Brown email

date  Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM
subject  "15,000 hot healthy meals"
Dear Libby,

In a blogpost, just before Independence Day, readers of are told that, in the month of June, "over 15,000 hot healthy meals" were served by Loaves & Fishes.

Because the Sacramento Loaves & Fishes nonprofit isn't overseen by a government agency, as a elementary school would have to be, there is no solid effort of sustained recording of what's served to know if the meals served in June, or served now, are truly healthy. I submit that the assertion that meals served at Loaves & Fishes are healthy isn't based on much, if any, real evidence.

It is my belief that, from all sources [outside, perhaps, a few determined-to-feed-people-well shelters], homeless people get an overabundance of carbohydrates [in particular simple sugars which are prime causes of diabetes] and salt, and a deficit of wholesome vegetables and, thus, their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.

Many homeless people can supplement their diets using foodstamps, but here, too, it is difficult to get good, healthy food. Convenience stores are both inordinantly expensive [$1.59 for a 20-oz soda], and stocked with a lot of junk food, and little or no fresh food.

In is my intent, on a sporatic/random basis, to eat at Loaves & Fishes and try to assess the meal and then enter what was provided to me to eat in's database, which then provides a nutritional assessment of the meal.

If my observations are correct, I suspect that most Loaves & Fishes meals are not adequately healthy, but I would delight in being proved wrong.

I hope you all will follow along as I gather data, and will consider adjustments to what is served to homeless people by Loaves & Fishes, if there are is too much of this, or too little of that, making meals generally less healthy than they should be.

You will be in a place, having the authority, to improve homeless people's meals, if the evidence suggests it. I hope you'll make changes, when indicated. Afterall, in a real but limited sense, we are what we eat.


Tom Armstrong
Note that I recently reported on one unhealthy meal: a baglunch passed out in lieu of a hot meal (which wasn't available), last Saturday, which I ended my blogpost by properly calling it "a meal from hell." I understand now, that on Sunday a bag lunch of mostly junk food was given in lieu of a hot meal, too.

Last April, Libby Fernandez told me she "monitors" this blog and "instructed" me to no longer blog about Loaves & Fishes, here. Indeed, outside Sacramento Homeless blog, she has a lock on the unwitting press and doesn't want anything to interfere with her blitzkriegs of donation-gathering.

In response, I posted ten daily articles, from May 1 thru May 10, about what Loaves & Fishes is really like in Sacramento Press.

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