You won't believe what I saw at the food bank!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by pocomom, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Deffenm

    Deffenm DIS Veteran

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    I also grew up poor but my family did whatever it took and never went on assistance. I remember times when my mom would not eat and we also grew up with the mentality that if you did not grow it, catch it, or hunt it you didn't eat it. I am very grateful that my family taught me certain life skills which I used to work 2 jobs while putting myself through college. I was the first in my family to graduate from college.

    I have a great job that allows me to provide for my family in ways I never had as a child and I try to give back all year. Giving back means a lot to me as I remember being a child in need and now I am the mother of 3 children who at one time were in need. Our 3 children are adopted from the foster care system and at one point in their lives they were not given food nor had a christmas. Our 12 year old still deals with food issues as he was starved when he was 2. Our 14 year old has a scar down his stomach because when he was 5 he was hungry and his birth mom was passed out on the couch and so he decided to make himself mac and cheese. Well he was standing on a chair over the pot of boiling water and got hot so he tried to take his shirt off and hit the pot and boling water dumped on his bare belly. Due to their birth situations when we adopted our children we made the deicion that my husband would stay home with our children so they would have constant care and know that someone would always be there for them. Our DS12 has some pretty severe mental health issues as well so it was necessary for someone to be home to address any issues that may come up.

    Please keep in mind that sometimes when a parent decides to stay at home, even if it means being on assistance, it could be because there is a mental health issue with a child. These issues can be severe and as a parent you could be called to come pick your child up from school and depending on your job situation if you end up leaving you lose your job. Again we are blessed that I make enough income to provide for my family but there are a lot of people where this is not possible.

    Thank you OP for a great topic!
     
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  3. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    But is it because they're so common or because they're uncommon enough to stand out? I think of it as like driving - I don't remember every good driver I pass on the roads, but I certainly remember the one guy driving like a total idiot. That doesn't mean most drivers are bad, it just means that the bad is unusual enough to stand out from the general background noise of daily life.
     
  4. mom2my3kids

    mom2my3kids Doesn't believe in the Tag Fairy

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    amen!!!!!
     
  5. skylizard

    skylizard DIS Veteran

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    Exactly! Just because you see someone pay with food stamps and then drive away in a fancy car, doesn't mean they are abusing the system! You truly do not know what is going on and should not judge. Just mind your own business and worry about yourself. The majority of people receiving help aren't scammers and don't need to be criticized or judged simply because you don't know what's really going on.
     
  6. cjbcam

    cjbcam DIS Veteran

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    I live in Saskatchewan and my bill is 100 a month or more. It was 65 for unlimited text and talking to people on sasktel mobility. However I live where everyone is long distance and not everyone has saktel and we go to the states a lot so had to add on the north American plan.
    That being said the system Canada has set up compared to the states is like apples and oranges. I lived in the states for 5 years and cant say I'm an expert but they give food stamps and such where Canada you just get money. People still get money for assistance and such just not like they do in Canada.
    I have stopped giving to the food bank because of what I personally saw, the one thing that has kept in my memory is this aboriginal man driving up with his big brand new 4x4 smoke in hand coming in and getting food while there discussing loudly how much money they get blah blah, then while driving away his bumper sticker said "keep working whitey, I need another new truck." I have never given another thing since.
    I think in Canada there is way more people taking advantage of it. Our kids school adopts families in our city and we give a ton because it seems less likely these people can scam. I also have a strong opinion on people taking advantage of the system and how people say they can't find work. Sorry but hard to believe when Canada is bringing in as many foreigners as they can to fill jobs. Flame me if you will but my opinion is formed not on one thing I have seen but many. While true some people truly need assistance most I have seen do not.
     
  7. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Ah, I wondered when it would appear: the Annual DisBoards "they are all just a bunch of scammers" Holiday Thread. (Not that the OP meant for it to be, of course, but you see how quickly the tide turned. It never fails.)

    The only thing that I will contribute is this: I live in a city now, but I've also lived in the country for many years. For many people who are poor or suddenly become poor, reliable transportation is the most likely thing to go. In the city you may be able to take a 3hr r/t bus ride to the grocery store and take home as much as you can carry in your hands, but that's not a very thrifty way to shop. In the country it's even more of a problem, because the price of gas to go the distance needed is an added expense. They beg rides a lot of the time, or especially if they are elderly or disabled, ask neighbors or relatives to do their shopping for them. Church groups often "adopt" elderly or disabled shut-ins, and many times one of the things that they do for those folks is go grocery shopping. Matching a vehicle to an EBT card isn't any kind of evidence unless you are also going to look at the registration to check that the owner of the car is the owner of the card. (When I lived in the country I also knew people who ran informal taxi services (there was no licensed taxi service); many times the people who needed the ride to the grocery store didn't have cash, so they would "pay" the driver by putting some of that person's groceries on their own EBT card.)
     
  8. jensen

    jensen DIS Veteran

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    This reminds me of the disability threads...
     
  9. petlvr1064

    petlvr1064 Earning My Ears

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    This thread hits me close to home. I am 27 and have auspergers which is a very high functioning form of autism. Unfornutly because of my disability I rely on food stamps title 19 and now Medicare. Yes I do work three days a week at goodwill but don't even make minimum wage which is a whole other ball of wax that I don't want to get in to here but I understand why it is that way and don't think it should change. When i do my grocery shopping I am sure I am sometimes judged because I use food stamps and by the occasional steak as well as some junk food and diet coke. I am trying to stop the diet coke though. I hate the fact that I have to rely on these programs but if I did not get them especially the title 19 and Medicare I would not be able to get my meds I need to function or go to the therapy appointments I need to be able to cope with life. Ya it sucks but the fact is there are a lot of people out there like me. My goal in life is to one day get a good job and my own insurence but intell I can do that I am thankful for these programs.
     
  10. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    Yes there are still a few who thin k a phone is a luxury. Most people no longer carry a land line if they are strapped for money or even if they aren't, so it should not be a surprise to see a lot of people carrying cell phones.

    Years ago before cell phones were common, my step daughter's mom didn't have a phone. It was so hard for us to communicate with them. We also worried when the child was at home alone, because she had no way of calling anyone if she needed help. I do not begrudge anyone having a phone. To me it is a necessity.
     
  11. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    There are telephones available for people on Medicaid. We also pay for another person's cell it is the 7th on our plan. A relative that is on assistance who lost their job 2 years ago an still can't get another.
     
  12. Nakkira

    Nakkira DIS Veteran

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    I sadly only give my food to Church food drives these days.
    4 years ago I went through a very bad patch.
    There were two months where I simply did not have enough money for food for me and my sister.

    I tried to reach out to the Food Bank several times for assistance and got little to no information.

    When I showed up to a location I was told I make too much (income)
    I had also brought my statements showing how much my rent was and the unfortunate car repair bill, doctor's bills, high electric, bill car payment that had temporarily taken away our ability to eat.
    I agreed that I make too much money to be on food stamps but that I had hit a rough patch and only needed help getting through that.

    Nothing.

    I went to a local church a couple of days later and no questions asked they shared food with me. Also a friend who had figured out how bad things had gotten dropped of some frozen beef for me.

    I have since donated more than I received back to them.

    If someone says they are hungry, I feed them.
    No, I never give a homeless person with a sign cash, because I really don't want it to be spent on booze, etc. But if I can manage I give them food. I keep nutrition bars and bottle water in my car just for this purpose.


    Still, I am not telling other people not to donate to Food Banks. I don't want to sound like that, I just wish that my local one was a little more helpful.

    My message is actually simpler. If you can at all spare it. Please share food, weather you do it privately, to a church, or a food bank.

    You never know WHY someone may need it. In the end it doesn't matter why. Nobody should be hungry in a country with so much excess and obesity.
     
  13. Hoodie

    Hoodie <font color=purple>Going to BC and GF with one wee

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    There is a lot of need...and there is a lot of fraud. These threads are always full of antedotal stories - I have mine as well of both abuse AND need. It's always important to note that those defending the need also acknowledge the abuse and those identifying the abuse also acknowledge the need. One does not exclude the other.

    I did snicker a little at the "box of mac and cheese." We did a food drive last year for a local food bank and boxed mac and cheese was actually on the "do not donate" list. The "donate' list was extremely limited actually - whole grain, organics, etc. Nothing processed, only canned items with no extra sugar added, etc. I understand wanting to distribute healthier items, but after seeing the list, I know why the shelves are emptier. The old adage "beggars can't be choosers" came to mind. We are again getting the request from the food bank to help, and again getting the limited "acceptable" donation list. It's unfortunate but I suspect their donations will be down again.
     
  14. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

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    These stories confuse me. If I could loan out my Mercedes and it my grand kids designer clothes why would I not also buy them food? Food is far more important than designer clothes.

    I must think differently. I have paid to drop a new transmission into my sister's car. Bought many people food, when I knew they need some extra help. Bought clothes for kids who needed it.

    Food is the most basic need. Why would they not supply that when they obviously have the means?
     
  15. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    Our foodbank will take almost anything (can't be past the expiration date). It must be nice to be a food bank with enough donations that you can ask for people not to bring in Mac n Cheese. Reminds me of dog rescue organizations that have so many homes looking for dogs that they can afford to turn up their noses at families that don't have a fence.

    Of course, they have preferred foods - they'd rather see things with decent nutritional value, fewer boxes of mac-n-cheese, white pasta, cans of green beans. They'd like it more if people shopped for the food shelf with "healthy, easy, and shelf stable" in mind - but they know a lot of their food comes from "Mom, we are having a food drive at school, what should I bring?" where a can of green beans or peaches in heavy syrup gets grabbed from a shelf - or worse, the can of beets that you thought maybe your family might eat sometime when you bought it two years ago. It would always be nice to get more tuna fish and canned chicken. The LOVED the Girl Scout cookies we brought in last year (I donate my extras), its a big treat when something like cookies shows up on a shelf.
     
  16. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    Food IS the most basic need. And these are other human beings. And almost everyone in this board can afford to go to Disney - if we believe the current survey 80% of us make more than the median income in this country. They can loan out the Mercedes and buy their grandkids designer clothes for the same reason why we can go to Disney while people visit the food shelf. Because we are entitled to make choices with what we do with our money. We can choose to help our relatives, we can choose to help strangers, we can choose to drive a Mercedes, buy designer clothes, and go to Disney. Some of us choose to do a little of each of these things, but none of us is required to directly support any other human being once they are an adult and we get to choose how to help - other than the tax dollars that are spent helping fill in the gaps where we have been too selfish as a society to fill them in completely.
     
  17. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    I agree.

    But I also believe that a parent driving a Mercedes could probably help their kid buy groceries. So I get her bewilderment.
     
  18. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

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    But is it better to have only a few high-quality items on the shelves and end up turning people away? What purpose does a food pantry serve if there is very little food available to distribute? I wonder if the people running the pantry in the PP's post considered that the hungry people that they serve wouldn't care if they got white pasta, non-organic, sugar-added cereal and process potato flakes? Wouldn't a free-range turkey for Thanksgiving be great? But ANY turkey would make a lot of struggling families happy.
     
  19. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    Sure, and maybe the parent has helped, and helped, and helped, and is now at the point where they say "All I'm doing for you is taking you down to the food bank because you don't have any other way to get there and I'm not going to let you starve. But I'm done buying you groceries."

    When my nephew was eighteen he was a high school drop out that sat in front of a video game screen. My sister in law tried all sorts of things. Finally, she drove him to the mission and helped him get a bed in the shelter. He stayed one night, came home, enrolled to get his GED and started looking for a job. Six months later, his old habits returned. She drove him back to the shelter. This time, it was winter and there wasn't a bed - so she relented - she put a camp cot and a portable heater in the garage and told him he could come in to use the bathroom.

    Her son is autistic - he has his challenges. But he also now has his high school degree and holds a job. He still lives at home, his job doesn't pay enough to support himself yet, but he's working on learning to fix computers. When she dies - which parents inevitably do and her and her husband are older parents with their own health challenges - he will be capable of supporting himself - he'll never be rich, but she's given him to tools to be self sufficient - and only by forcing him to be so.
     
  20. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    True. Just thinking through the process
     
  21. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    I agree with you. Apparently the other food shelf either HAS plenty of food or would rather see people go hungry than eat junk.

    A friend of mine is on the board of the co-op and the co-op has a constant debate about this very thing - their mission is to feed people. They are in a neighborhood that boarders a poor neighborhood. They are a bunch of liberal hippies running a co-op - they like organic, they like local, they like vegetarian, they like small producers and would rather not carry General Mills or other big food corporation products. But they also want to see people eat and eat healthy - so they also carry non-organic milk and sell it below cost, because finding food in the inner city can be tough, and they carry non-organic vegetables, and they carry things that none of them would consume because they aren't 'healthy' or 'sustainable' - but they sustain the poorer community they are next to.

    (They do not carry Twinkies or Wonder bread though :))
     

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