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If we want a civilised society, charities can't fill the void left by government

woman working at food bank

I gave to a local food bank because women with infants are going hungry thanks to the shutdown. But it fills me with furyWith some SNAP assistance suspended, food banks are a lifeline for some. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the GuardianLast week, I made an online donation to the Greater Boston food bank. After doing so, I spent several minutes trying to process how I felt. I didn't feel virtuous. What I felt was intense anger.The donation was following the example of my friend Suzanne Fischer, who had pointed out that the government shutdown meant that WIC was suspended. If you're unfamiliar with it, WIC is more formally known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and it provides supplemental food vouchers and support to nearly 8.9 million people, mostly women and children under the age of five. Without it, they're going without food and formula.Taxes aren't the only way to pay for civilization, of course: community groups, charities, and churches also contribute. But I consider myself a fairly prudent consumer, and I want my money to be used well.Even excellent charities

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08 Oct
Alicia Gibb @pipix
I like taxes too! Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr: "I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization."via @debcha's article http://t.co/xFY6V6WlOo
08 Oct
Tim Maly @doingitwrong
In which @debcha comes out swinging for big government. http://t.co/bLnV4AAxQa
08 Oct
Jonathan Foote @rrmutt
"I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization." MT @debcha: how furious I was about donating to a food bank http://t.co/AaPuI46q1i