Monday, August 22, 2016

TURNING THE TABLE - A Wall Street Millionaire

"The Wall Street millionaire bringing healthy food to those in need" PBS NewsHour 8/18/2016

REF:  “The Love of Money” by Sam Polk, New York Times 1/18/2014


SUMMARY:  Sam Polk was making millions on Wall Street when he had a life-changing revelation:  he wanted to help those in need.  His focus became so-called "food deserts," regions with limited access to healthy food.  Polk founded Everytable to serve nutritious meals at minimal prices for low-income populations, but higher prices for customers who can afford them.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now, economics correspondent Paul Solman spends a little time with a former hedge fund trader turned social entrepreneur, someone who wants to turn the table on food shortages in inner cities by launching an array of eateries in both high-end and lower-income neighborhoods.

It's part of our series “Making Sen$e”, which airs Thursdays on the “NewsHour”.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  Sam Polk was formerly a top dog at one of the world's top hedge funds.

SAM POLK, Former Hedge Fund Trader:  My dad was this sort of Willy Loman character, this sort of out-of-work salesman that could never make ends meet.  So when I was on Wall Street, my entire life's goal was to make more money than the next guy.

DORCIA WHITE-BRAKE, Groceryships Graduate:  Just going to pour a little bit of salsa inside.  It's like your own little bowl.

MAN:  Wow, nice.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Dorcia White-Brake is a teacher's aide in Los Angeles.  Three kids, no car, the nearest supermarket miles away.

DORCIA WHITE-BRAKE:  So I can have, you know, good healthy food that tastes good.  I have to take a bus and a train.

SAM POLK:  When I was 27, I had been on Wall Street for five or six years and I was at this club in Las Vegas, and it was this super-exclusive club and there was $1,000 bottles of champagne, and beautiful women all around.  My life finally looked like I'd always wanted it to look.  But I basically felt empty.

DORCIA WHITE-BRAKE:  So, basically, I waited six months for this application.


DORCIA WHITE-BRAKE:  Yes, and I got it and I turned it in and then it seemed like an eternity.  I was waiting and waiting and finally I got a call.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Got a call to join the Los Angeles non-profit Groceryships Program, started by Sam Polk.

SAM POLK:  I started Groceryships when I came to understand that people are living in food deserts, where there's very little produce for sale and tons and tons of fast food.

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