rawprawn 18:25 16 Sep 2009

In these days of recession when many good hard working parents have been redundant, I just wonder whether a simple thing like buying an extra item when we go to the supermarket, and donating it to those who are without money and yet unable to claim benefit may be of help.
I don't profess to know much about the benefits available today, but after watching BBC news tonight. I certainly would be prepared to help in this way.
I was made redundant in 1967 when it was almost unheard of, I started my own business and never looked back.
I have a great empathy for those who through no fault of their own, who find themselves in dire straights.

  Forum Editor 19:13 16 Sep 2009

The problem with wanting to help the needy is often discerning who they really are. My mother was the manager of an Oxfam shop for over twenty years, and she has a wealth of stories about people who went to great lengths to avoid paying for goods in the shop.

On one occasion she caught a man trying to walk out wearing a leather jacket from the rack - he turned out to be a solicitor with a thriving practice.

You would have no way of knowing that your food gifts were going to those who you wanted to help, and no doubt there would be all kinds of rules and regulations about giving free food to people. My son is a food microbiologist in the supermarket business, and he tells me that they have strict rules about not giving out of date food to charities, even though it might be perfectly good.

  mfletch 19:18 16 Sep 2009

I go on holiday often to Whitby and there was a tramp {now dead} and if you offered him any food or money he used to go mad and shout at you to clear off.

So some may take it the wrong way offering them food etc

  rawprawn 19:21 16 Sep 2009

Yes I realise it would be very difficult, but surely someone must be able to help.
Perhaps it could be a project for Rotary, or similar organisation?

  rawprawn 19:26 16 Sep 2009

Watching BBC news this evening prompted this post, a young family man getting very much needed help from a charity called something like Food Help, I'm sure that's not the right name but they may be the kind of people who need help getting access to food.

  Forum Editor 19:34 16 Sep 2009

The Salvation Army is involved in distributing food - it's the one organisation I've always felt I could trust absolutely when it came to scrupulous fairness.

  mfletch 19:39 16 Sep 2009

Its a shame and a waist the amount of good food shops throw away every day,

Ive always thought there should be a way to give it to the poor.

Some shops wrap there good waist food in clean bags so people on the streets can get it out of the bins {clean}

Its probably illegal just to give it away in hand outs,

  rawprawn 20:25 16 Sep 2009

Yes Thats the one.

  interzone55 21:26 16 Sep 2009

I used to work next door to a Salvation Army mission, we had a customer sandwich bar, and each night I would take the unsold butties round and give them to the sally army for distribution.

One day they refused them saying out of date sandwiches may make the homeless ill (but drinking Old Spice is OK???), so I started leaving them at our backdoor, then I got complaints from the council.

So I started putting them in the skip, and they'd all disappear by the next morning.

So the lesson here is that homeless people can't have a slightly out of date sandwich straight from the fridge as it may give them an upset tummy, but it's OK to dig a warm sandwich out of a filthy skip. Perhaps fresh food is dangerous...

  Woolwell 21:43 16 Sep 2009

Plymouth has a Foodbank click here
I often see volunteers at the supermarket asking for a donation of an item.

  spuds 23:58 16 Sep 2009

The major problem would be the actual distribution to the really needed. I would imagine that most large towns and cities have some type of daily food and cloth bank or 'soup kitchen'.

In the town that I live near, some of the local restuarants and cafes open on Christmas day, so as to provide food, clean clothes and a little bit of cheer for anyone in need.And that's not just the homeless. All the items are donations from other business's and the public.

Its been going for a few years now, and every year it seems to get bigger and better.

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