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September 25, 2022

File:Brett Favre crop.jpg

Brett Favre, Author US Navy Mass Commun. Spc. (1st Class) Jennifer Villalovos (PD as work product of federal govt.)

NFL great, Brett Favre, is embroiled in a massive Welfare scandal which diverted millions intended for the poor of Mississippi [1].   At least $77 million in public money was misspent [2].  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) effectively became a slush fund.

Volleyball Stadium

Incriminating texts reflect that former governor, Phil Bryant, aided Favre in securing the $5 million used to build a volleyball stadium at Favre’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi.

But Favre – who earned over $140 million during his professional career – was not alone among the wealthy to benefit from the fraud here [3].  Friends and political appointees of the governor, businessmen, and other sports figures all stand accused.

Neither Favre nor Bryant has been criminally charged, as of this writing.  Favre does though face a civil suit by the state [4].

Historic Poverty

Mississippi is a historically impoverished state, with the highest poverty rate in the nation [5].  Fully 19.58% of the population (nearly 1 in 5) live at or below the poverty level [6][7].  Over 80% of black children cannot read or calculate at grade level.

Family Values

TANF funds can legitimately be used for four purposes:

  • to provide assistance to low-income families, so that children can be cared for in their homes;
  • to promote job preparation, work, and marriage;
  • to prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and
  • to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent homes [8].

Christians might even call these “family values”.  All were undermined by this corrupt scheme.


We may never know how many Mississippi children went to bed hungry (or were later sent to foster care), because the funds taxpayers had set aside for them were instead used to line affluent pockets.

We may never know how many leaking roofs were unrepaired, how many job opportunities were lost, how many relationships were ended due to financial strain.

We can with some confidence say that no Mississippi child born into poverty will ever play in Favre’s volleyball stadium.  Favre may not realize it.  But that is as much his loss, as theirs.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.  Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire” (James 5: 1-3).

[1]  New York Times, “Mississippi Welfare Scandal Spreads Well Beyond Brett Favre” by Neil MacFarquhar, 9/22/22/,

[2]  Mississippi Today, “Former Gov. Phil Bryant helped Brett Favre secure welfare funding for USM volleyball stadium, texts reveal” by Anna Wolfe, 9/13/22,

[3]  Celebrity Net Worth, “Brett Favre Net Worth”,

[4]  WUSF Public Media, “Newly released texts highlight corruption in Mississippi welfare scandal” by Mary Louise Kelly et al, 9/16/22,

[5]  PBS, “Poverty-stricken past and present in the Mississippi Delta”, 7/22/16,

[6]  US Census Bureau, “Quick Facts Mississippi”,

[7]  Wikipedia, “List of US states and territories by poverty rate”,

[8]  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Policy Basics:  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families”, 3/1/22,


  1. Dein sehr gut recherchierter Bericht zeigt wieder einmal die Unmöglichkeit auf, dem Teufelskreis der Armut zu entrinnen. Es gibt zu viele Skrupellose, die sich selbst ihre Taschen füllen und nicht an jene denken, die dringend auf Hilfe angewiesen sind.
    Es ist schwer für Dich, darüber zu schreiben, da treibt es einem die Tränen in die Augen. Mach trotzdem weiter so, wir brauchen Dich.
    Liebe Grüße, Marie

    • Meine liebe Freundin Marie, es macht mir Mut zu wissen dass Situationen wie diese für Sie genauso belastend sind wie für mich. Wir dürfen die Armen nicht vergessen. Gott, das wissen wir, wird sie nicht vergessen. Mit viel Liebe, Anna ❤

  2. I thought this only happened in Africa! Seriously though, thanks for courageously exposing the rot. There is a day of justice… Many moons ago I did an OT dissertation on ‘The Day of the Lord in the Minor Prophets,’ it’s been a great help over the years in helping me keep perspective, especially the Prophecy of Amos.

    Warm greetings as always.

  3. It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle… and, woe to you when men praise you…

  4. I saw this in the news. Heartbreaking. I suspect that there has been far more misappropriation of relief funds than will ever be discovered. But God knows!

  5. The fact that these wealthy people would prioritize a sports stadium over the basic needs of the community speaks volumes as to how out of touch they are with humanity.

    To steal money earmarked for the poor is the lowest of the low. Taking millions from poverty stricken people who in large part struggle to read and write strikes me as unfathomable, especially considering the incredible wealth and opulence Favre is accustomed to enjoying.

    Money talks, and big money speaks volumes. I hope that somehow justice prevails and those guilty individuals will be given sufficient time behind bars to think about the magnitude of what they have done to the poor in Mississippi.

  6. This sort of thing happen so often worldwide that we become inured to it. But to think of the suffering that could have alleviated — heartbreaking. Thank you, Anna, for the way you framed this to help us understand the consequences of such greed and corruption.

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