Thanksgiving Food Drives: Feed the Multitudes (Unless It's Illegal)
(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.

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.

I understand what you’re saying too but I think the OP’s point could be summed up in this paragraph:

Quote: Little by little the Church has been shackled by the laws of the land, by the drive for cash, by fear of litigation. Rather than being bound by Our Lord's commission to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, the business of helping others has become professionalized.  It is no longer possible for the Bride of Christ to just do good in His Name.

In the story of the loaves and fishes, Jesus told his disciples: YOU feed them. See, WE individuals are called to charity, and while the large food pantries and soup kitchens and charitable organizations have their place, we have alternatives.. There's the Interfaith Hospitality Network, for example, which depends on a different family to roll up their sleeves and bring a hot home-cooked meal every night. They sit down at the same table and actually eat the meal they cooked with the homeless and hungry; they break bread, they talk, they know their names. Now, that gets people like you and me involved in real hands-on helping – rather than holding “canned good drives” where people empty out the old stuff in their cupboards without looking at the expiration dates – without ever seeing and interacting with the "multitudes" Jesus told his disciples to feed.

- Lisa

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Re: Thanksgiving Food Drives: Feed the Multitudes (Unless It's Illegal) - by SCG - 11-04-2009, 12:04 AM

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