Thursday, December 20, 2007

Advice of the day

"The next time some grocery-store clerk or workplace colleague asks you for a food-bank donation, have the social courage to say no."

Related: Remember, we're the big meanies here

11 comments:

creme brulee said...

Why undo it, then re-do it? (as per quoted article)

a visit or two to a foodbank might partly answer the question. London largetst food bank on Leathorne St. welcomes visits from volunteers, even for an hour or two, and could share a bit of their 20+ years perspective on the issue.

volunteers don't mind helping out and local citizens don't mind donating food. it's a fairly easy way to get involved in helping some of the less fortunate in our towns and cities.

volunteers and donors wouldn't get behind a cash sharing system in the same way, it would be open to more abuse than food banks occasionally suffer.

so I question the statement, "It would make more sense for volunteers to spend their time earning income at their usual occupations, then donating the money to poor people to spend at supermarkets"

at present, large donations of cash to foodbanks usually come with the instruction - for the purchase of food.

i don't think food banks could be persuaded to become cash banks. the spirit of giving and volunteering would dry up, the less fortunate forgotten.

Jake said...

Donating cash is a better method of helping the less fortunate that food hampers--not only because it eliminates an intermediary between the donor and the recipient--but because the money can be used within a grocery store.

A cash card voucher has been used in Oxford County and Woodstock for the past two years and has become a more effective way of helping the poor. The donations are made through asking shoppers to contribute $2 to their grocery bill.

It allows the recipient to buy groceries at a store for themselves anonymously which eliminates the humiliation of going to the food bank. The store wont allow the recipient to waste the money on non-necessities such as cigarettes or junk food.

Food banks serve as a unnecessary intermediary that serve nothing more than a psychological barrier for those living in poverty.

Joe Molnar said...

The super duper food bank on Leathorne may as well be a drive-through, like Timmy's donuts.
Enough parking space for a dozen vehicles to boot.
My contention is if one can afford to keep a vehicle on the road (license, repairs, fuel at abuck a litre) and then drive to a food bank for free food, then that person can damned well buy their own grub!

mariposa said...

I agree - if you can afford a vehicle and all the expenses, then you must have money for food too.

If not, then get rid of the car and take public transportation. Food is a necessity - your own vehicle is not.

NIAC said...

I have to add...

"It would make more sense for volunteers to spend their time earning income at their usual occupations, then donating the money to poor people to spend at supermarkets"

That assumes that volunteering requires one to skip working to do so, it doesn't allow for those who are not gainfully employed or who are doing so on their off-hours.

It is just one of those statistical analysis things.

If 50 people volunteer, and 40 of them do not have 'employement' at the time of their volunteering, that suggestion actually says that the food bank loses 40 volunteers, and gets no money.

eng said...

I agree - if you can afford a vehicle and all the expenses, then you must have money for food too.

If not, then get rid of the car and take public transportation. Food is a necessity - your own vehicle is not.


I had a friend who was a mechanic, but due to back injuries he could work maybe two hours a day, on a good day, and no heavy lifting.

I had two vehicles, a half decent one and a beater as a spare. I let my friend use one of the vehicles, as long as he put gas in it and kept it in good repair (I would buy parts when needed, he supplied the knowhow and labour). I got more hassle free driving, and I always had something to drive. My friend got to do a bit of the work he enjoys, and he got wheels to run his errands.

Would your food bank parking lot gestapo allow my friend to visit the food bank in my vehicle that he is borrowing? Would you look up my license and then have your goons harass me, blithely assuming I am the one using the food bank? If you use 407 style police state cameras, you would "presume" it was me.

Elaine said...

Eng, I have to agree with you. I know people who have been waiting for an unemployment cheque, or things like that, and they might have money to pay the rent, but not buy groceries. I would not see anyone go hungry. Everyone can go through a bad time, been there, done that. They shouldn't have to hawk their car or home for groceries.

I think the cards are the way to do it.

mariposa said...

Yes, anyone can fall on hard times - and when you do, you do without things that aren't necessary.

Me - I gave up going to the dentist for a few years when my hours were cut back. I was already relying on public transport. I first had already given up luxuries like cable tv (contrary to what some people believe, it's not a necessity).

It never got so bad I had to rely on the food bank. I do think there's something wrong if a person can afford car insurance (which is an outrageous expense) and gas and upkeep on a vehicle, but they can't afford FOOD - food is more important. And bus fare is cheaper than vehicle expenses any day.

Within city limits where we have adequate public transportation, a car is simply NOT a necessity. Food is always a necessity. It's that simple.

Note: I said "your OWN vehicle is not a necessity." The key word is "OWN" - borrowing someone's vehicle is not even close to the same costs - the little bit of gas for occasional use would probably cost less than a bus pass - so that scenario had nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Elaine said...

I had to let the maid and butler go. It was hard times in the maritimes, but I made it.

MapMaster said...

Like every other, it is a very good season for giving to the poor and unfortunate, however in your hearts and your heads you find it does good work.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless Everyone.

Elaine said...

I believe in a hand up, not a hand out. That give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime sort of philosphy.

I have to say this shift to apprenticeship programs, from teaching useless information in our schools, is a good step towards that. It should start in the earlier grades.

I remember arguing with the school board when they took home economics out of the schools in favour of science and technology. I knew they couldn't eat computers. I felt it was important for children to learn how to make a cheap meal, and do a home budget. A bag of potatos or carrots is less expensive, and better for you, then a can of spaghetti-o's and package of hot-dogs.

I have met young people who have never peeled a potato or carrot, and look at it as a mystery of mankind.