Let Them Eat Cake

Chuck Schumer recently brokered a deal with Chobani Yogurt of NY to ship 5,000 containers of “nutritious and delicious” yogurt to the U.S. Olympic athletes – without first making sure he could ship the “nutritious and delicious breakfast” into Russia.  The Russian government already has a ban on U.S. dairy products entering their country and Schumer knew this.  Since the Russians rejected the shipment, the yogurt was distributed to food banks so it didn’t go to waste.  One hopes.  When I worked for a Roman Catholic Church, a bakery donated five Black Forest Cakes to our food pantry.  Fr. said that there wasn’t enough to give to all the poor so he offered me one (which I didn’t take), gave one to his sister, put one out for the volunteer money counters, and took the rest to his camp for future parties and picnics which he regularly held there. 

Back to yogurt, Schumer said, “The Russian Authorities should get past ‘nyet,’ and let this prime sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team deliver their protein-packed food to our athletes.”

I think it is good that Schumer is willing to adopt the Chobani company and seek to get their product distributed around the world.  I’m sure there are no kickbacks or anything illegal going on here.  Schumer is already working on the expansion of a federal school-lunch contract on behalf of Chobani under the banner of “for the children!”  I have to invoke Godwin’s Law here and mention that Hitler said you can accomplish anything, even the curtailment of liberty, if you say “it is for the children.”  But I’m sure there are no kickbacks or nothing illegal going on here.

Good for Schumer for thinking of the children but he also voted for the $8 billion reduction in food stamp aid and, in New York alone, over 350,000 families would lose about $90 a month in benefits.  This would certainly benefit Schumer’s federal school lunch contract since the School Breakfast Program provides cash assistance to states to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions.  Thanks to Schumer, by cutting the food stamp program, there are more hungry children for Chobani to feed.  The children from poor families, who just lost $8 billion in food stamp aid will at least get yogurt for breakfast.  See, it all works out when you get politics involved.

Our Olympic athletes, though not paid, do receive sponsorship money to compete so they are not entirely starving themselves.  Gold, silver, and bronze medal winners get paid by the US Olympic Committee. Gold gets $25,000, Silver, $15,000, and Bronze, $10,000. Other than that, they get paid by sponsors who support their Olympic training and travel expenses. 

Then, of course, there’s endorsement money, which can be huge for the big stars. For example, Shaun White takes home over $9 million each year from sponsorship deal money.   Sadly, no free yogurt for him.  How will he survive?  As for the poor children who lost $90 per month in food stamps, let them eat yogurt. 

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