Thanksgiving Food Drives: Feed the Multitudes (Unless It's Illegal)
#31
(11-05-2009, 09:06 AM)Catholichome Wrote: Picnics in the park are an excellent idea. It reminds me of the tradition of St. Joseph's table and St. Anthony's bread.
There is no reason why anyone who wants to do so can't just load up their car or van or little red wagon and give away food if they wish.

Yes, there are rules and as I initially said, there is a reason for those rule. But how does it make sense that you cannot divide up a 50 or 100 lb sack of rice or pasta for distribution?

From what I understand, it's a combination of hygiene, a fear of tampering if you break it down, and staffing and cost if they break it down.  Most pantries work with part time and/or volunteer staff and so they have to get what they have broken down into the boxes for distribution in advance, and they don't have much time.  That way when people come they can just hand them a full box, and then serve the next person.  I don't know if it's like this where you live, but i've seen lines around the block for a pantry that's open only two hours. 

Edited to add:  Some places do take food that's near the sell-by date; mine does.  It's gone in one day anyhow.  Call some nonprofits in your area if that ever happens again - they might even come and pick it up.
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#32
Things have changed a lot in the pantry in our former parish.  I worked there as a volunteer over 20 years ago and at that time, we did break down bulk food into manageable portions. We were all volunteers except the Sister who ran the pantry. We did what we had to do for as long as we had to do it to get the job done.

I was also skilled at grant writing and managed to get funds for freezers and the electricity to keep them going. We had a program wherein parishioners would be given containers to take home and fill with precooked meals. These were labeled and then frozen to distribute to those who might have an emergency in the home: someone very ill in the hospital, a death in the family, or whatever the case might be. If there was an abundance of meals, they were given out. 

The Sister's brother was an avid fisherman and would bring fresh filleted fish to give out with no problem. I would often catch smaller fish and would fry them up to give out as well. I also ran a community garden and we would bring bushels and bushels of fresh vegetables to the pantry to give out. That's out of the question now, too. It's sad.  All of my fruits and vegetables are organic and grown from heirloom seeds. Can't give them away.
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#33
(11-05-2009, 09:47 AM)Catholichome Wrote: Things have changed a lot in the pantry in our former parish.  I worked there as a volunteer over 20 years ago and at that time, we did break down bulk food into manageable portions. We were all volunteers except the Sister who ran the pantry. We did what we had to do for as long as we had to do it to get the job done.

I was also skilled at grant writing and managed to get funds for freezers and the electricity to keep them going. We had a program wherein parishioners would be given containers to take home and fill with precooked meals. These were labeled and then frozen to distribute to those who might have an emergency in the home: someone very ill in the hospital, a death in the family, or whatever the case might be. If there was an abundance of meals, they were given out. 

The Sister's brother was an avid fisherman and would bring fresh filleted fish to give out with no problem. I would often catch smaller fish and would fry them up to give out as well. I also ran a community garden and we would bring bushels and bushels of fresh vegetables to the pantry to give out. That's out of the question now, too. It's sad.  All of my fruits and vegetables are organic and grown from heirloom seeds. Can't give them away.

Like I said, nonprofits will take this stuff - shelters for battered women, runaway shelters, drug treatment centers, halfway houses.  I know the food guy where I work is Cordon Bleu trained and would weep with joy if somebody brought him some heirloom stuff.  Check your yellow pages for nonprofits, and ask to speak to the kitchen person NOT the donations person.  Either that, or go by and bring the kitchen person a bag of what you grow, and I guarantee they will then stalk you for more and then you'll say, "Why on earth did I ever listen to Magnificat?"

Can you get someone to let you start the garden again, this time with community volunteers who could get a bushel of fresh food in exchange for some weeding or watering?  This way they can then start their own gardens, hold farmers market-style exchanges, etc. 

I think you're really on to something; there's a gap and you have the means to fill it.
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#34
Food "expiration dates" are arbitrary.  The food industry, as well as cosmetics, and others like them, use a 3-month, 6-month, 18-month, and 24-month "use by" and "sell by" dates.  The products don't go bad, right after these dates, but most people believe that they do.  The manufacturers only put those dates on there, to guarantee the freshness of their product.

The only product that I've seen where this date is even close to being right, is milk.

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#35
(11-03-2009, 10:48 PM)Fidelis Wrote: 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.

Fulton Sheen pithily stated that the problem with the social service agencies of the modern State is that "they want to count the poor, before they feed them."
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#36
(11-07-2009, 02:40 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: Fulton Sheen pithily stated that the problem with the social service agencies of the modern State is that "they want to count the poor, before they feed them."

What a great observation.
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