Thanksgiving Food Drives: Feed the Multitudes (Unless It's Illegal)
I disagree with the article, a lot of those rules are put in place as good precautions to protect the homeless. I can see where everyone in this thread is coming from but at the same time we can't excuse these requirements as being purely bureaucratic. We have to keep in mind practicality.

First of all, it has to be said that a lot of these requirements are enforced by charities because of our law suit culture, especially in the states. So it's not necessarily the fault the charities, they are just trying to protect themselves from potential law suits that could arise if they didn't follow these guidelines. You really can't blame charities themselves.

And as I said the guidelines are there for a reason. Some of these food pantries have a lot of food dish out and so logistics is a problem. If you have so many tonnes of canned food it's problem in of itself to account for all the various expiry dates. That's a lot of work if you have so many hundreads if not thousands of pounds of preserved foods with varying dates. If you open something like an over-sized can and hand it out in individual portions you now have to keep track of opening it up properly and cleanly, keeping track of when it was opened/how fresh it is. Even something like opening a bag of rice can raise a lot of questions. And  I think we can all agree that there is a certain common sense in not giving out food beyond its expired date.

And on top of all that organizing, if you now need to keep track of fresh and frozen meat it gets way more complicated. When was the food frozen? was it frozen properly? Was it treated, cut, cleaned properly? Where did it come from? Who gave it? How many freezers do we need? Are the freezers being maintained properly? How do we pay for the cost of refrigeration/freezing?

The bottom line is that there is a lot of common sense in these rules. Especially when food pantries are often run by volunteers. I honestly feel that these rules keep food pantries simple, and by keeping them simple you make them more efficient, less costly and ultimately and most importantly, safe.

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Re: Thanksgiving Food Drives: Feed the Multitudes (Unless It's Illegal) - by Fidelis - 11-03-2009, 10:48 PM

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