Why don't food banks collect tax-deductible monetary donations to purchase and distribute grocery-store vouchers to needy people instead of running costly and inefficient duplications of the services grocery stores already provide? Aside from the presumptive political and moral authority accrued to food bank administrators, Karen Selick notes in the National Post that only one other explanation makes sense:
Charities can't simply collect cash and give grocery money to the needy because donors know it wouldn't all be spent on necessities. Some would be spent on cigarettes, booze or bingo.Similarly, vouchers would be sold or traded for the same purposes — and the same phenomenon would be seen equally in the provision of affordable housing. Food bank and housing activists are only too aware of this, which is why those services are run in the manner that they are, but acknowledgement would only undermine their haranguing of politicians and the public for even more of the redistributive policies that they entitled to administer. Selick continues:
Middle-class or wealthy Canadians shouldn't accept guilt when anti-poverty activists hint that the existence of food banks proves some moral deficiency in the economic system. Far from it. Food banks simply conceal problems that are too taboo to discuss these days.