Friday, November 25, 2011

Economic Recovery: One Data Point

I would not put much credence in one data point, but I do see a few signs that the economy may be improving.  One of those signs is here in Horseshoe Bend.  Most of the churches here jointly put on a free community Thanksgiving meal each year.  This is actually a pretty impressive spread that we put on: not just traditional turkeys with stuffing, but turkeys deep fried in peanut oil, hams, and a selection of side dishes and desserts that no single family would ever produce!

This is not explicitly a rescue mission type of thing: some people come to it for the social aspects; some come to it because they are alone, and have no family in the area; some because they cannot afford to travel to be with family; and some come because food is in short supply. At the same time, there is nothing about it that reminds you bluntly that you are poor or struggling.  It is a chance to have a very decent meal with a lot of your fellow Horseshoe Bend residents, and no one needs to know, or asks why you are there.

Still, the count of people fed is, I suspect, a low quality proxy for the economic conditions.  Last year, we fed 150 people.  This year, we fed 110 people (and consequently had quite a bit of food left over).  The population of this area has not noticeably declined.  My guess is that some families have enough money to prepare their own Thanksgiving feast this year, and others can afford to travel to be with family.  Both are positive signs.

1 comment:

Jim Archer said...

Wow, that's impressive! You used peanut oil and no one died! Who would have thought?