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Thinking about donating to foodbank. AIBU to be dubious

(95 Posts)
SwingYourPantsNow Thu 13-Mar-14 00:08:24

OK, I know I'm probably being unreasonable here.
I've been thinking about donating to the foodbank, but I'm in two minds. It's a self referral one. That means you can rock up and declare food for yourself without being referred. How does that even work?! How do you go about proving you're in need and can't feed yourself?
Sorry in advance for stupid questions.

OP’s posts: |
TheScience Thu 13-Mar-14 00:12:01

If you weren't in need, why would you go to a foodbank?

PandaFeet Thu 13-Mar-14 00:12:35

If you are going to donate, you should do so because you want to help anyone that presents at a food bank, not just those who you deem worthy.

Please don't believe the bullshit spouted by the media.

wobblyweebles Thu 13-Mar-14 00:14:08

All the foodbanks where I live are self referrals. I still donate to them. It never occured to me to care whether people can prove that they're hungry TBH.

AgentZigzag Thu 13-Mar-14 00:17:04

They're not stupid questions, but I think it's unreasonable to start putting conditions on who you'll help and who you won't.

When I put food in the foodbank box at the supermarket I couldn't give a monkeys who gets it, if someone's in such a position that they want to nick it out of the box before it even gets sorted then so be it.

If it goes to someone who smokes, drinks tons, has got a telly, likes a night out, they're welcome to it.

People don't nick food or take it as handouts when they've got other options (very few anyway, and if they're well off and still taking it then they've got other problems)

The decision you have to make (IMO) is whether you want to donate food to someone or not, what moral category of poor they come into is a very Victorian attitude.

Northernlurker Thu 13-Mar-14 00:17:44

Oh for crying out loud! If you want to give then give. Don't give with conditions attached wanting your tin of baked beans to go to somebody you deem worthy enough.

grapelovingweirdo Thu 13-Mar-14 00:19:29

Do it, any help these places can get is very welcomed. I help out with one in Dorset and have never served food to someone who didn't look as if they would cherish every last bite.

SwingYourPantsNow Thu 13-Mar-14 00:20:12

I never said anything about deeming anyone 'worthy' or not. I was merely asking how the foodbanks know if people can genuinely not afford to feed themselves.

OP’s posts: |
AgentZigzag Thu 13-Mar-14 00:20:53

60p for a tin of beans round our way!

60 fucking pence!

for baked beans??

How did that happen?

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 00:21:44

"rock up"? oh for God's sake.
btw if you want to give some food send it to me there is nothing in the house til saturday.
and i cannot 'rock up' at a food bank because i am not on benefits.

AgentZigzag Thu 13-Mar-14 00:22:09

'I was merely asking how the foodbanks know if people can genuinely not afford to feed themselves.'

They ask them?

expatinscotland Thu 13-Mar-14 00:23:03

If it matters that much to you, find another bank or don't donate.

SwingYourPantsNow Thu 13-Mar-14 00:24:39

and i cannot 'rock up' at a food bank because i am not on benefits.
Do you have to be on benefits to claim food from a foodbank? Genuine question. I didn't think it had anything to do with benefits? Just depended on whether you needed food or not regardless of whether on benefits or working confused

OP’s posts: |
WorraLiberty Thu 13-Mar-14 00:25:09

Oh goodness me

This reminds me of the endless threads about Freecycle and how holier than though some people can be about putting things on there.

If you're unsure about this particular food bank then donate to a different one.

Personally I think it's a great idea to have one or two food banks that don't need referrals because not everyone in desperate need, is actually 'in the system' at first. That can take days or sometimes weeks for people in crisis.

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 00:25:40

<sighs> yes i think you have to be on benefits.

Northernlurker Thu 13-Mar-14 00:26:11

Bullshit Op. When you asked how they know they are 'genuinely' in need you're playing the deserving poor game. Are they poor enough? Might they have a telly at home they should have flogged?

Really, please don't bother donating. Foodbank staff don't have the time to polish your halo nor carry out the interrogation your largesse apparently requires.

It's very simple and if you can't see that then it's a shame. GIVE WITHOUT RESERVATION - BECAUSE IT'S A GIFT.

Inertia Thu 13-Mar-14 00:27:12

You don't know for sure.

But it's a bit like the welfare system as a whole- the vast majority of people who use it genuinely need it, the proportion of people attempting to cheat the system is tiny, there are far bigger scams operating out there, and it's totally unreasonable to withdraw support for a desperately-needed safety net on the basis of a tiny number of people potentially taking advantage.

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 00:31:22

OK I checked my local foodbank, they only accept vouchers from social services, the benefits agency, women's aid, or a housing association.
As i do not fit into any of those (worthy) categories i am a bit fucked.
should I sell the laptop then OP?

IamtheZombie Thu 13-Mar-14 00:32:55


NinjaLeprechaun Thu 13-Mar-14 00:34:51

I've used self-referral food banks in the past. They, at least the one I dealt with, don't just hand out food to anybody who turns up. They couldn't afford to. They do the things that a referring agency would do, like looking at your financial situation (with proof, please) and trying to help you find a more long-term solution if you need one. They can also refer people to further services themselves.

Not everybody who needs a food bank is involved with any kind of 'agency' - there are an astonishing number of people who are scraping by without help, but are one unexpected bill away from not being able to feed their children. People who might otherwise be too proud to ask for help they need. They're the ones who need self-referring services the most.

ScrambledeggLDCcakeBOAK Thu 13-Mar-14 00:36:33


I'm not going to have a go at you but thought some info might help your decision.

people who work at Food banks are quite adept at being able to determine the needs of the individuals who need to use them.

They are not like a supermarket who just gives stuff away the process is more involved than that.

There is a vast range of people who need to use food banks from families on a low income who can't stretch the wages to last to the next payday to people on benefits to disabled people who have had their money suddenly stopped (and infact whole multitudes in between)

I know in today's society were used to everyone screwing everyone over but I would say 99% of the people who use food banks are in real need.

If you can donate you would be helping people in genuine need swing.

I hope this has helped.

AgentZigzag Thu 13-Mar-14 00:36:36

I'm only guessing OP, but you're probably wanting whatever help you give to be given to the people who need it the most, they're the people who pull on your heart strings. The people who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves at rock bottom and in dire straights, maybe with children or maybe an older person.

But it doesn't work like that, everyone's got their own set of unique problems and circumstances and it's down to how you interpret it as to whether you see it as their fault or not, whether you see them as deserving of your charity or not.

You have to give the food without imagining the circumstances of the person who's going to take it, because really, who they are is none of your business.

It's not your food once you've handed it over.

AGnu Thu 13-Mar-14 00:37:12

Nigellas Could you contact the benefit's people & explain your situation? They might be willing to refer you as a temporary measure without you actually having to apply for any benefits. Always worth asking! It's really common for people to use a foodbank while they're waiting for their benefits application to be sorted so they wouldn't technically be on benefits while using the fb!

FanFuckingTastic Thu 13-Mar-14 00:37:38

Having been in need of a food bank recently, I can say that many who use them are mothers with children, homeless people, disabled people, and people who are having hard times. I wouldn't even think about it if I could afford to donate, people who would be going hungry are benefiting from these places.

onlyjoking9329 Thu 13-Mar-14 00:38:41

Yes you are being very unreasonable.
Give because you want to give, or don't give at all.

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