I call Bull Shit on food banks. You may think that food banks are solving a problem and feeding the hungry. You are wrong and if you donate to a food bank I will likely make you mad.
You may have good intentions about donating your excess canned goods. You go through your cabinets and take out the cream corn and garbanzo beans to give to someone who is really hungry. Seems like a good and noble act, right? Think again.
Low income seniors do not need the food they are being given. The system is broken and not many people know this.
In my business we spend a lot of time working in low income senior housing developments and housing for the homeless. We are called in to help them clean up to pass inspection. What we uncover in these homes needs to be shared, so we can stop the madness.
We see boxes and boxes of food that come from food bank programs. A sample food box may contain a bag of rice, a bag of pinto beans, powdered milk, fruit cocktail, and green beans.
If you have been living on the streets or you are in survival mode would you cook a bag of pinto beans and rice? Or mix water in powdered milk as your beverage of choice? No, you would not and neither do they.
Most of the seniors in these housing units are not eating their vegetables either.
Meet resident Bob. He picks up his food box regularly. He can’t pick and choose what is in the box. Bob likes and eats the fruit cocktail and the rest gets hoarded in his apartment along with his empty fruit cocktail cans.(more to come on that)
Meet resident Shirley. She has hoarding tendencies and she has a fear that one day the end of the world will come and she will need to survive locked in her apartment for a year. Shirley definitely picks up her box and sometimes even her neighbors box. She ends up hoarding a lot of food in her apartment too.
In each scenario the food never gets eaten and the food bank just keeps on delivering with smiles, thinking they are saving lives. They are not saving lives. They are filling apartments with rotten, soon to be expired food.
There are many other scenarios that also end with money and food being wasted because the program is broken.
It is time to spend the millions of dollars that are sent to the food banks on something that would actually make a difference.
Here is an idea. Start a program to help seniors take out the trash. A program to help resident Bob who is in a wheelchair.
It takes a lot of effort for a senior who is disabled to take out the trash. You may not realize how hard it is for someone in a walker or a wheelchair to take the trash out. They have to load up the trash bags, carry or drag the bag down the hall, get in an elevator, go down to the garage, walk through the garage and then try to throw the heavy bag inside a 6 foot dumpster.
You wonder why these apartments are filled with rotten food and trash!
Instead of pinto beans, rice and powdered milk, employ one person to help these residents take out the trash. That would make a difference in their lives.
We have to do better for our low income seniors, our community and our tax dollars. The more you know, the more you are aware, the more you can make a difference.