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

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

  1. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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    I believe there are folks who are truly needy, down on their luck and need a break. And I know there are folks who abuse the system - happens all the time in our area with fraud, etc. (SS Fraud, EBT Fraud - convictions, etc.)

    A food bank is not run by the government so in my opinion can give/do what/how they want.

    But for those that get government assistance with tax dollars there really needs to be a better way to cut out the abuse. If you have a system that is honest and open then there are no questions, no judgements, etc.

    I agree with those that ask why those with relatives who help out do not help with buying of necessities vs. other items? Have our priorities changed so much in this country that we would rather our relatives have the latest style of clothing vs. the food they need?

    Then there is the question of ethics - if you can work but choose not to work and receive public assistance - is that right? I think this particular scenario is what is more of what I have an issue with because its not a matter of out right fraud but rather an question ethics and personal responsibility.
     
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  3. palmtreegirl

    palmtreegirl Loving life in Florida

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    Great post!!!
     
  4. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    When my brother in law was dying, we bought him a house to live in - so I think we did our part. He couldn't work any longer, the chemo had him in a state where he couldn't hold a job. He qualified for SSDI (I think it was SSDI) which didn't pay much, he also qualified for Food Stamps.

    First of all, he spent 35 years of his life working and paying into the system - he was entitled to Food Stamps and SSDI. He paid taxes for 35 years to help others, now he needed help.

    Second, he had a few years at most to live (it was two from diagnosis to death - almost exactly). Are you really going to begrudge us that we bought him a few shirts rather than buy him food when he was entitled to Food Stamps?

    Third, he never admitted he was getting SNAP benefits. Didn't know until I was going through his papers. I think he was far more willing to admit he needed other help, and that he got other benefits (insurance through the state, SSDI) than SNAP. There is something shaming about SNAP and a lot of people don't want to admit that they get those benefits. He didn't want help feeding himself. He did want to feel like we thought him special enough to give gifts to. And, of course, near the end we were giving him rides to the store.

    This is a guy who when he was healthy we bailed him out several times from his stupid decisions, so he had no problem running to his brother for help when his soon to be ex wife had only "said" she paid the mortgage while she was off on a spending spree and their house was about to be foreclosed on. But asking your family to pay for your groceries, there is something belittling about that.
     
  5. rojen

    rojen Mouseketeer

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  6. JB2K

    JB2K DIS Veteran

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    Sure, there were people in line holding cell phones, but consider this...

    Just because they have a cell phone doesn't mean they have a "secret stash of cash".

    Most basic flip phones can be had for nearly nothing, thanks to the prepaid world and also the free "Lifeline" phones (which have been incorrectly referred-to in internet forums as the "Obamaphone").

    I am by no means "poor", but I pay a low $35 a month for my smartphone -- appearances can be deceiving...
     
  7. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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    I'm sorry that you had to endure your brother-in-law's sickness and death - I wouldn't wish that on anyone (having myself endured watching family slowly die).

    I don't believe anyone is responsible for another person (outside of a parent or legal guardian being responsible for a child) for any of their actions, finances, etc. regardless if they are family or not.

    However, I don't understand the thought process of buying someone something they don't need in lieu of something they need. (And yes I do believe clothing is a need but not named brand clothing). Your brother-in-law needed clothing and food - he had access to food via welfare but not clothing. You provided that necessity.
     
  8. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    Maybe we should only get angel tree clothes at goodwill. And fill thanksgiving baskets with beans and rice. No one needs turkey.

    I can hit hollister during clearance and get $3 and $5 shirts that will wash 50 times and only get softer. Or walmart and have the shirts pilling in 4 washes. Yes. I've done both. "Name branded" clothing isn't evil or a lesser value.
     
  9. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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    Not necessary and taking it to an extreme don't you think? Nothing of what you just stated above can be inferred by what I stated.
     
  10. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    He honestly had plenty of clothing - trust me, I'm the one who hauled it to Goodwill. What he didn't ever get enough of, although he got a lot of it - was the knowledge that people cared about him, thought of him and were willing to give him their time, their affection and - well - stuff. Because "while you were ill we went to Disney, but we were thinking about you and bought you this" matters.

    The other thing is that - well, I'll be blunt. My total tax burden is over six figures. I paid for his food stamps. He should darn well get to use them.
     
  11. Egdisney

    Egdisney Mouseketeer

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    This sounds like a bank ran by someone who doesn't know what it means to be hungry. They should be happy to take anything they can get. Smh
     
  12. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    More so when you don't clip the quote. ;)

    You bet I can infer such a thing.

    You have no more to suggest your subjective beliefs are any more relevant when others are deciding in what ways to help others.
     
  13. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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    You inferred incorrectly then....

    Subjective beliefs? Which belief is that exactly you are referring to?
     
  14. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    I think that gets into a huge can of worms about gifts vs assistance with day-to-day living, whether a moral obligation to support adult family members exists, where the line is drawn between helping and enabling, and issues of individual family dynamics. Is a hard-working, successful adult obligated to scale back his/her own standard of living to support an adult child? A sibling? A parent? Should grandparents lose the "right" to spoil their grandkids if their adult children lack the resources to make ends meet?

    That's how ours is too. It is run through the church affiliated with my girls' school so they do get a fair number of donors who are shopping specifically for the food bank and buying healthy and we're in a small town/farming area so they get produce and meat donations as well, but they also get a lot of "The food drive is today, what can I take" pantry leftovers.
     
  15. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    An organic-only/sugarless-only food bank is a good idea only if if the mission is to feed people who are ill and on restricted diets that they otherwise cannot afford to follow. For a general pantry it is totally ridiculous.

    Locally, the one that drives me crazy is Scouting for Food. Their restriction is that they will only take food that is in cans; no boxes or pouches. I've been that car-less person who had to take the bus or walk two miles to get my groceries, and let me tell you, weight matters. Normally when I buy for pantries I make it a point to get lots of tuna in pouches, because it is so much easier to carry, and you don't need a can opener to get into it. However, the boy scouts won't accept those, which is lunacy.

    One thing that I like to give to pantries is often met with puzzlement, so I've taken to labeling it "for cooking", because it helps with all that boxed mac and cheese: canned evaporated skim milk. I use it myself for cooking rather than fresh milk, because it thickens up nicely though it is low in fat. I don't drink it, and I wouldn't unless I had no fresh milk alternative, but if your access to fresh milk is limited, it works very well to let you keep the fresh milk for drinking.
    (I also buy a few cans of Hershey's syrup, too -- it's a nice treat for kids to get to have some chocolate milk now and again.)

    When I shop for pantry donations I do try to buy low-salt versions if I can, but that's as far as I go on the "healthy" thing. Many of the folks who need to use pantries have very limited cooking skills and very few utensils at home; they tend to prefer processed foods because they are familiar and are easier to prepare.

    Oh, the one "no thank you" I'll agree with is the dreaded canned pumpkin. Folks, that stuff is well-nigh inedible unless you are using it to make pie, and the average pantry client isn't going to be so hard-up for pumpkin pie that they will be looking for the cheapest ingredient at the food pantry while paying out of their limited funds for the more expensive needed ingredients.
     
  16. bettymae1121

    bettymae1121 sure. fine. whatever.

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    Rather than donate food, I donate money to my regional food bank. Food banks do have overhead and money can be just as useful (maybe even more so) than mac n' cheese and soup that is 2 months away from expiration. Not that food donations aren't helpful, but money to pay the electric bill can be a good way to help too.
     
  17. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    I make both pumpkin bread and soup with canned pumpkin, but I really doubt those are really the sorts of things that spring to mind for the average food shelf shopper. (I happen to LIKE pumpkin and so go looking for pumpkin flavored things to make - especially at this time of year) And the big issue is that its one of those foods that picks up the taste of the can quickly - so you have to use it within weeks of buying it. When it shows up on the food shelf its often one of those "back of the pantry" donations - at that point its inedible - even in pie. (the dog MIGHT eat it, mine likes pumpkin - but he turns up his nose if it smells too much like can)
     
  18. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    I agree completely, but when your children are participating in food drives they usually are not allowed to contribute cash, so I fill a box at the bottom of the pantry at this time of year, and the kids know that they should grab from it when they need items for food drives.

    For the drive at my office I give cash and usually two sacks of food; heavy on the protein.
     
  19. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    Actually canned pumpkin is great to add to spaghetti sauce, chili, casseroles, stews etc. It gives these foods an added boost of Vitamin A and some C. Of course, you would have to write this little tip on the can for anyone to understand how to use it.

    Our church's food pantry always has canned pumpkin and most of the little old ladies will let people know how they can use it when they give them a bag of food.
     
  20. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Most likely they would.

    I think that's one of the issues with these post in general. We only see a small "snapshot" in time. So we see the person driving a Mercedes and using a snap card and we make assumptions.

    Most grandparents help their kids through out the year and then we see them buying "gifts" at Christmas or see the kids with those Christmas gifts, we get the standard "their on welfare they shouldn't have those things".

    People here have a very "Oliver Twist" mentality toward the poor. A mother on food stamps should never buy or bake her kid a birthday cake because ***gasp*** that money could be better used for some thing else. A kid on welfare should never get a Christmas toy because that's abuse. If you can buy a toy for your kid, you can get off of welfare. As if being on public assistance means you are undeserving of any thing but scrapping by with the bare minimum.

    Let me throw out a hypothetical situation to anyone.

    I'm a grandmother, my daughter is on food stamps for whatever reason. I decide to take the family, daughter and kids to wdw. You hear them talking about their upcoming trip in the supermarket using food stamps. Do you then decide it's fraud (I'm betting yep)? Is the daughter an food stamp abuser because she doesn't turn down the trip?
     
  21. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    You do realize to that Aboriginal man you are judging, you are a foreigner unless you too are aboriginal but based on the tone of your post I don't think so. I live in Canada and I completely disagree with almost everything in your post.
     

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