About food banks- just a bit surprised really

(382 Posts)
topbannana Mon 29-Apr-13 21:21:35

I have just come across a notice in the paper from church, appealing for donations for the local food bank.
Thankfully I have never had need for a food bank but I think they are a great idea and I was happy to buy extra and donate.
The list however was quite specific (understandable) but I was amazed to see requests for custard, rice pudding, biscuits and sugar. In my book these would be considered luxuries, in that if I was short on my grocery budget we would forego them.
Surely the food bank is there to supply people with emergency essentials not extras? As it goes I will simply buy loo rolls, pasta, powdered milk or something else off the list and ignore the bits I don't agree with. I don't really think I am but AIBU?

I totally agree with people saying a few very cheap and sensible tasty things like sugar are nice to have.

But they're not just treats. Sugar and sweet things give a quick energy hit - that's why you give someone in shock sweet tea. We're used to thinking sugar is only for 'treats' and not 'necessary' because we're mostly well-nourished. If someone isn't well nourished and is feeling dizzy from low blood sugar, something sweet will be good for them, won't it?

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:40

Pretty sure a diabetic would have cause to be grateful for a biscuit if their sugar crashed...

Never mind when you're running on nothing something like rice pudding is filling and gives you an energy boost - or if you really can't stretch a meal to more than filling up the kids a couple of biscuits and a cup of tea fills a hole.

Don't buy the items if you don't agree with people in need actually 'needing' them, tbh something is better than nothing and it's not like they'll taste the judgement in the dried pasta you donate.

Lilithmoon Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:52

Blimey OP, pretty mean hearted...

thingamajig Mon 29-Apr-13 21:32:00

They are all able to be stored at room temperature, and have months in date, which is very important in the store room of a food bank. They are highly palatable (most people like them/will eat them). They are high energy, the sort of thing you need/want most of when you are cold, tired and hungry. So no, YABU but I can see how things first appear to be luxuries.

We should be ashamed people in an allegedly civilised society are reduced to using them. Bitterly ashamed.

^this.

Trill Mon 29-Apr-13 21:32:35

The point is that foods need to be things that last a long time, are appealing, and don't require other (expensive or short-life) foods to turn them into something that you want to eat.

e.g. if you wanted to get someone a nice pudding, rice pudding would be better than angel delight because you'd need to buy milk to make up the angel delight.

I am actually speechless.

And trust me, that rarely happens.

HolyFocaccia Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:18

Have my first biscuit

Shame there is no powdered milk emoticon otherwise I would have given you that.

DiscoDonkey Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:28

Sugar is a luxury? Blimey. Hope you are only buying value loo roll too.

Fairylea Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:37

I feel so sorry for dc in families who are so poor they need to use a food bank. Can you imagine how exciting it would be for them to find some biscuits or some custard in there? My ds is 11 months old and he loves little treats, it's part of the enjoyment of life! And also children do need fats and carbs!

I am so angry. I don't think you have any concept of what it is to actually struggle to be able to provide for your kids.

Trill Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:00

I guess if you had angel delight and powdered milk you could do that.

Could you?

Fuck me

I hope you're not daring to buy 2-ply toilet paper...god forbid they dare to wipe their arses on the luxury that is 2-ply

picnicbasketcase Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:21

<applauds jengnr's post>

LittleEsme Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:58

I could cry when I think of families surviving on the basics. By all means, buy the staple foods that keep families from starving, but a treat here and there is nothing to us and everything to those that need to use the food banks. My chapel has a food bank and I add to it every Sunday. Pudding Rice and sugar will be what I buy for next time.

And yes, it's fucking shameful that our own people in Britain are needing food banks in the first place. Where are we going wrong? sad

gordyslovesheep Mon 29-Apr-13 21:35:26

you 'don't agree' with poor people having nice treats - very Christian of you !

You would hate the care packages we use - at Christmas they had chocolate and mince pies and Pringles !

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 21:35:45

Might out myself here, but our local foodbank recently helped a chap who had no food for him or his 4 children. Called the foodbank from a phonebox using his last £1.20 but the foodbank had shut for the day and he did not have a voucher. The next day he and one of his children walked eight miles in freezing conditions (father didn't have a jacket either) to collect a voucher and then to the foodbank.
I don't begrudge him a tin of rice pudding for trying to provide for his children.

cozietoesie Mon 29-Apr-13 21:36:41

If you're living on a heck of a tight budget, OP, custard powder and sugar are good staples. Got some bananas going a bit brown because you bought them on Reduced? Pour some custard over them, leave to set and you've got yummy banana pudding for you and the DCs. Likewise tired cake (microwave a bit) and tarting up all sorts of Reduced shelf goodies.

Real life budgeting may not be as healthy as you would wish but it doesn't always rely on pasta and fresh herbs. The items you quoted sound like realistic suggestions to me.

Icelollycraving Mon 29-Apr-13 21:37:34

Yabu. Seriously mean spirited.
I have looked for a local food bank locally but very surprisingly can't find one (to donate to). Can anyone suggest a way to donate?

foslady Mon 29-Apr-13 21:37:53

Rice pudding and custard are nourishing foods if you are unwell - easy to eat, gentle on the stomach and a way of getting milk into the body, what's wrong with them?
Just because you've hit hard times doesn't mean you should be made to forgo a biscuit ffs.....life's hard enough as it is when you're at that point.

Have you ever thought about having a more Christian attitude. OP rather than judgemental hmm

webwiz Mon 29-Apr-13 21:38:24

Food banks give people three days of food that is non perishable and has enough calories to fulfil average daily requirements. Its not exactly exciting food and a life were your only luxury is a biscuit is hardly extravagant.

I volunteer in the CAB up until about 6 months ago it was rare to have people coming in with no money for food but now its nearly every day.

Flobbadobs Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:17

Seriously OP? No luxuries allowed? I'm glad you don't live round here then, our local foodbank at the library has a list of essentials but will happily accept anything else as long as they have a fairly long use by date.
At Easter the local Sainsbury's had Easter Eggs on sale for a pound each -fairly big ones too- most of them were bought and donated to the foodbank. If a person is so desparate that they have to rely on foodbanks to feed their family (a fact that as Jengr rightly says we should be ashamed of) then surely no one could deny them the right to give their children a small treat? Or have we as a supposedly civilised society really got to the stage where the Poor are so undeserving of anything but contempt that a bag of sugar or a packet of custard is regarded as a luxury and something they are not worthy of receiving?
YABverybloodyU

Jinty64 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:27

Rice pudding, custard and biscuits can be eaten cold, as they come. There are times when some people do not have the facilities to cook.

FoundAChopinLizt Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:32

Where has the op gone?

mrsden Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:38

You would begrudge someone a tin of custard? The food has to be non perishable, easy to prepare/ can be eaten cold because the person could have no cooker, high in calories. Some people have no idea what poverty is.

hurricanewyn Mon 29-Apr-13 21:40:34

When we were little we needed help like this - the Saint Vincent de Paul brought a food parcel around to our house one evening a week for a little while.

I was 9 years old and I can still remember our excitement when we had a croissant each! We'd never even seen them before smile

YABU but you probably know that now

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