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

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

  1. pocomom

    pocomom Brr.....

    Oct 20, 2012
    At the food bank today you wont believe what I saw:

    - I saw a family with too many kids (6!) roll up in a new mini-van, obvious deadbeats!

    (Of course the mini-van was mine, this family are my neighbors and I was giving them a ride. The 6 kids? 4 are adopted from an abusive familial situation. Only two of the kids were planned. The dad hasn't worked since I've met them, you know, since he was shot in the Iraq war. The wife works but it is only part time. She had to sell a successful business when they took on the other kids so she could get them to their special appointments etc. Now that they are settled, she is having trouble finding anything else permanent and full-time. In the summer, she puts together multiple part time positions, but once the summer is over here the opportunities here dry up. Sometimes when she gets sick, or the kids need things for school, things get too tight. She wouldn't take my help directly, but did let me drive her down to the food bank, and helped out as a volunteer with me.)

    - I saw no Audi, BMWs or Mercedes in the parking lot, in fact I saw no cars that looked less than 5 years old, and Im no car expert but most looked considerably older.
    - I saw neighbors bring neighbors who had no car to drive
    - I saw an old lady on Oxygen, actually a couple of them
    - I saw an elderly couple who made a point of saying "God bless You" to everyone helping.
    - I saw lots of older people who never thought they would be there.
    - I saw kids, lots and lots of them
    - I saw empty shelves, lots of those too.
    - I saw people getting turned away

    If you can consider donating, this time of year need is high. Its true you may help out some irresponsible deadbeat, but chances are much greater that box of mac n cheese you donate might fill the belly of a child with nothing else.
  2. Northernlites

    Northernlites Mouseketeer

    Jan 19, 2011
    Your view is better than mine, it sounds like the individuals at your area food bank need the help.

    I drive by a bus stop that is located in front of the food bank in my city. I drive by every weekday. I see adults in their 20s, and 30s who have their food bank bags on the floor of the bus shelter because they are always texting on their phone with one hand and have a cigarette in the other.

    I live in Canada where cell phone service ($150 a month minimum) and cigarettes ($90 a carton) are very expensive.

    I believe the people who really need the help often don't get the food and the others are using the local food bank to allow them spending money for their vices.

    Last year on the news there was video of families lined up for their turkey and toy basket for Christmas. I noticed as did my coworkers that everyone in the shot had a phone in their hand.
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  4. kirstenb1

    kirstenb1 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2010
    We live in the country, and our foodbank serves truly needy folks. People without indoor plumbing. OP, thanks for the laugh!! I had to read your post a couple of times to get the gist.
  5. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    But why does that bug you so much? We've had cellphones as our only phone since '02, way before we could truly afford them, and it's because our landline service was costing stupid amounts of money, was always being charged erroneously, and wasn't helpful when away from the home (obviously). Nowadays it's how many people have internet, which is helpful in many ways, even to those without enough money.

    But hey, I grew up in a home where the dad left and almost never paid child support, it was just my mom working her fingers to the bone to help us, and she did her best. She did go on food stamps (I don't remember if there were food banks then, or in our area) and some form of welfare. And she did smoke because she was *addicted*, it was an addiction that started when she was 15, she was able to quit during her pregnancies but then she went back to it, and despite many tries she was never successful in quitting until she was 35 (and I was 10 and we had been off food stamps for a few years) and nearly died of an asthma attack. So she had groceries and cigarettes on the belt. She also had dog food. Because she had two big sled dogs from earlier in her life, and she wasn't willing to give them away or kill them during our personal economic downturn. She also wasn't working; figured that staying home with us for a couple years was good for us (she made a good decision there).

    Whenever I read judgment of people who are getting aid of some kind, I think of us, and how absolutely bonafide my mom's reasons were for getting assistance, and I think "that person judging would have thought that the family I grew up in was doing something wrong", even though my mom was doing the absolute best she could, trying to make up for the decisions she made as a teen (smoking at 15, marrying at 17).
  6. mom2my3kids

    mom2my3kids DIS VETERAN

    Sep 28, 2005
    Yes most in my area abuse the system as well...I just stood in line at the gas station while a woman paid for pop, snacks etc with her assistance card and then purchased 20.00 worth of lottery tickets with cash..go figure....
  7. Katlyn

    Katlyn DIS Veteran

    Jan 7, 2008
    A friend of mine started working at a convenience store recently and she says that happens a lot at her store.
  8. willowsnn3

    willowsnn3 DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    And harmful as cigarettes are, it is a much better addiction than alcohol or drugs.
  9. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2007
    Excellent message. I've known many many good people who need a hand. I am blessed. Sure there may be some willing to take advantage, but I refuse to stop helping and I refuse to teach my children that they shouldn't be grateful and give back.:)
  10. alc571

    alc571 DIS Veteran

    Sep 9, 2012
    Where exactly do you live in Canada where you're paying $150/mth in cell phone bills?? I'm in Ontario, and I have an iPhone through Bell and pay $40/mth. It's my only phone as I was paying $35 for my landline! I don't think having a cell phone is indicative of not needing assistance. Now, the ones who come into my government office to pick up their monthly cheques, wearing designer jeans, shoes, etc and carrying Coach bags...maybe.
  11. bedogged

    bedogged <font color=purple>Choose parents that aged well<b

    Mar 28, 2004
    I read on AOL today that last Friday EVERYONE receiving food stamps had their amount CUT as of that date. I feel badly for those people who depend upon food stamps to feed their families. There was speculation that food banks would feel the crunch as well because those families would have to depend more heavily upon them. I fear that some children will go hungry this month as a result of the cut.
  12. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

    Sep 26, 2009
    It's a 5% across-the-board cut.
    Please take the time to pick up a few extras when you grocery shop this week. Most stores around me have bins for collecting non-perishables at the exit. It doesn't take any extra effort on my part to donate every trip. Scan your circulars. Clip some coupons and drop what you can in those collection bins. Yes, someone might be scamming the system. They will do it anyway. And if we don't replace what they take, then someone who does need it will go hungry.
  13. Egdisney

    Egdisney Mouseketeer

    Mar 6, 2013
    Is that most people on assistance in your area though, or just the ones you notice? I absolutely agree that people make horrible choices with some of their food stamp money. I also know that some are given very little assistance, which barely helps and others are given too much. My friend was a sahm and her husband up and left. Applied for assistance and was given $600 a month in food! For herself and 2 young girls! So yes, you might see her buying candy and soda with food stamp money but that was after she bought all the healthy food for meals. The whole system needs to be redone, but those in power to do so would probably just screw it up more:)
  14. bababear_50

    bababear_50 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2007
    This is a topic close to my heart:hug:
    I am planning a food drive at our school for our local food bank--many of our kids and their Families HAVE to use that food bank.
    I have seen true Hunger in the eyes of a child-heart wrenching!!!
    Our theme this year is:

    Pack a Polar Bear Cave!
    Tent-covered in a white drop sheet
    My Canadian Polar Bear that has been to Disney a few times will sit beside the Cave.

    If everyone gave just one tin or box of food (What A Wonderful Life) we would have!
  15. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

    Jan 10, 2008
    Food stamps are not supposed to supply all the food for your family - they are supposed to SUPPLEMENT. Supposed to HELP you - not provide all the food for your family.

    That being said, the need is always high for people at food banks - not just holidays.
  16. usd2bmd

    usd2bmd DIS Veteran

    May 21, 2007
    Please before judging someone for the choice you see them make. walk a mile in their shoes...You see a snippit of their life and decide that they abuse the system.

    Kind of ironic that people find it so easy to assume those on public assistance are scamming the system, but see no injustice or don't discuss what happens when those with money funnel it to other countries to avoid paying taxes. the effects on the people as a whole are the same.
  17. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2007
    Also in Ontario. Paying $160 a month for 3 phones (2 of them Iphones, one a Samsung.) Nobody pays $150 a month for an Iphone.
  18. DawnM

    DawnM DIS Veteran

    Oct 4, 2005
    There are several prepaid cell services in Canada just as there are in the US. has many listed.


  19. bababear_50

    bababear_50 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2007

    Southern Ontario here
    Oh My
    Guess I'm cheap or shall we say frugal:goodvibes
    I have a pay as you go old flip phone.
    Maybe $35.00 a month, but it does the job.
    Many of my friends and family have cancelled their home phones and replaced them with a cell phones,
    I'm sure they pay more than me.
    Hugs Mel
  20. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    Exactly. My cell phone service costs $35 for an unlimited plan; my landline costs $30 plus per-minute charges for any number out of our immediate area, and when I say immediate I mean just that - 10-15min in any direction is far enough to be a "zone call", so even calling around on jobs or (for the poor) on social services/charitable resources within our own county incurs those charges. And there are cheaper cell phones than mine. There aren't cheaper landline options in this area. Someone on a very tight budget would be better off with the cell phone.
  21. 4mousefans

    4mousefans Mouseketeer

    Jan 22, 2010
    Thank you, OP, for the reminder! When I first saw the title of the thread, I felt my blood pressure begin to a social worker, I see people who are struggling on a daily basis. And while there may be some abuse, I can honestly say that my twenty-plus years of experience in the field tells me that it is few and far between.

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