The following is a comment from the exLC discussion board that is a common, if light-hearted, view concerning the accepted "poverty" of the Legion:
I remember bringing in trucks full of outdated food, and when I was asked what we had gotten, I'd say we got Irish food, because it was all green from mold.
Once we took a huge truck up to the Apostolic School in NH and basically just dumped three fourths of into the pigpen. Those pigs sure tasted good that year. We took them to the slaughter house and we had pig meat for a while.
I know that the consecrated women and candidates dined for months on stale doughnuts begged from local shops and there is an across the board understanding that these people will eat what is put before them, no matter what.
Now let's consider it from another point of view. Money seems to be an issue, and the money budgeted for food has to be supplemented with donations of deplorable standards. If this were a family, trying to live God's will for their lives, any priest would accept the circumstances as grounds for delaying the conception of another child through NFP. If a father couldn't feed the children he had, and they were forced to pick through mouldy food fit for pig-slop, all sorts of agencies could be approached for help and the family would be concerned for the health of the children. In some settings, the children would have been farmed out to friends and family who could feed them in times of crisis. (In fact, the Church has gotten quite a rap from the misunderstanding that it encouraged families to simply trust in God and expand, expand, expand. How many people, in fact, left the Church thinking that theology wanted them hungry and destitute rather than limiting children according to resources?)
I fully support the Church's teaching on human sexuality and realise that there is a distinction between children born into a family and young men and women choosing the Movement. But even so, the adults in charge of these zealous youngsters should be exercising the necessary prudence by assuring their nutrition, access to health care, and other human resources for mental and physical wholeness. Having a houseful of people who all want to outdo each other in sacrificing for Christ and suffering without complaint is a set-up for real abuse. Not only are the youngsters left to take pride in eating such things, but recruiting continues unabated to bring in more fellows to share the repast.
(In light of charity, perhaps it wouldn't be right to suggest that instead of undertaking the opening of new colleges, the Legion should use the resources it has to aquire decent food..? While we're at it, the consecrated women would also benefit by a health insurance plan.)