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to go off piste with food bank donations, as they only list wanting junk food

(510 Posts)
haveatarday Tue 06-Jan-15 10:56:00

At the shops now. The local food bank is only asking for junk food on their list (crisps, biscuits, pot noodles, pasta and sauce, corn flakes).

Aibu to not get these but get healthier stuff, like tinned fruit in natural juce, oats, mixed seeds etc?

haphazardbystarlight Tue 06-Jan-15 18:41:17

Maurice- I got such a sneer when I, inspired by a thread here, put some posh biscuits in (on offer in Sainsburys.) It's put me off if I am totally honest.

On the one hand we get lots of drama on here if someone questions sweets or crisps: THE POOR DESERVE A TREAT and then if someone puts in something not to MN 'taste' THE POOR CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO EAT BROWN RICE OR DARK CHOCOLATE.

So what DO we want? Surely donating to food banks involved, well, food?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 06-Jan-15 19:01:03

I don't think you should have been sneered at for that haphazard, it was a nice thing to do. The issue with the OP was she had a list of things the food bank wanted and chose to ignore it because she was making a value judgement about those that needed to use a food bank.

With the brown rice, it's not that poor people can't be expected to eat brown rice. It's the fact that brown rice needs something to go with it. Things like pot noodles and pasta and sauce make a meal on their own. It might not be the most nutritious meal you can plan but it is warm, filling and has some taste. I'm not sure the same can be said of a bowl of plain brown rice.

TedAndLola Tue 06-Jan-15 19:02:01

This thread is amazing. It not only reminded me that I haven't donated to a food bank since November, but made me reconsider what I will donate next time. I have bought quite a few packs of dried pasta before, but in future I will get more of those pot-noodle-type pasta pots that can be cooked with a kettle. I'd never really considered that the people receiving the food might not have a hob to cook with sad

I've also found my local women's refuge website and emailed to see if they accept donations.

This has been incredibly informative so thanks, troll OP! Sucks for you that this didn't turn out how you wanted...

simbacatlivesagain Tue 06-Jan-15 19:15:53

A few year ago one of my friends (ex teacher) got a job at a sure start. She was brilliant with the children and as part of her job had to run parents cookery class. She had a group of 8 parents and they used fresh ingredients to make veg lasagne. They ate it with their children. The parents were full of praise- she felt great.

Week later- next class. She asked how many had since made the lasagne- not one. She was despondent and a bit deflated but made the next meal with them. Next time- again not one person had made the meal.

After the class one on the mums came up and took her to one side and said- you do realise that most of us don't have ovens only hobs and/or microwaves don't you? and if we have ovens we cant always top up the meters as we can only afford to top up either gas or electric sometimes not both. Gas was not always topped up in the Summer as it was just the cooker and heating.

She felt so foolish as this had never crossed her mind. She of course adapted what they made from then on.

RandomNPC Tue 06-Jan-15 19:20:07

To those who are moaning about people 'having a go' the OP:
RTFT!
She was spotted as a troll quite early on, are you really so daft as to take her at face value after 15 pages?

FatJerseyPostXmasSpud Tue 06-Jan-15 19:33:27

We have our own version of food banks over here, called the Grace Trust. Whenever i have the money and have done a shop i buy extra and put it in their basket at the co op. We also have a basket for the womans refuge here as well. But i stick to their lists.

sonjadog Tue 06-Jan-15 19:37:02

I don't think the make of the biscuits is a problem, haphazard. The reason why the OP (obvious wind-up) was getting the responses she did was that the food she suggested could not be made into a meal easily. If biscuits are on your foodbank list and it doesn't specify what sort they want, then get what you would like to get.

MauriceTheCat Tue 06-Jan-15 19:38:26

Haphazard... never be put off... if we ask for biccis we don't care what sort... I love it when jaffa cakes are on offer in asda or tesco as we are over run and everyone gets a box.

But its hard when someone gives us a takes a lot of cooking or loads of extras because its healthy. Yes as volunteers we do buy it off the bank but it never seems fair.

Each bank is different and needs change so please ask.

But at the end of the day regardless of what people on MN think if it is needed and asked for we will welcome it regardless of brand or make

AwkwardSquad Tue 06-Jan-15 20:27:15

Apologies if this has already posted, but this very short piece from the Guardian puts it better than I could! Britain isn't eating

crumblebumblebee Tue 06-Jan-15 20:28:41

I'm surprised this thread is still here.

ilovesooty Tue 06-Jan-15 20:46:52

I'm glad it is as it's developed into some really useful posts despite the OP 's intentions.

firesidechat Tue 06-Jan-15 20:58:12

Haphazard I don't think anyone has a problem with giving good quality food, just that certain foods are what people need, for various reasons.

I stick to the list when I give, but I also give what we would eat, so good quality stuff. I would feel bad giving food that is a lesser quality than I am prepared to eat myself. It's probably not the best use of my money though because I could buy more own brands for the same price.

We eat brown rice, but it takes forever to cook, so not the best thing when you have to limit your energy consumption.

Tryharder Tue 06-Jan-15 21:01:06

Haven't read all the thread yet but clearly the OP's assumption that 'the poor' should eat healthier food has irritated quite a few.

But looking at it from the other side, is it not equally patronising to suggest that 'the poor' only want pot noodles and Tesco Basic cornflakes as they have neither the palate nor the ability to cook anything else.

DixieNormas Tue 06-Jan-15 21:07:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ilovesooty Tue 06-Jan-15 21:11:17

Tryharder if you RTFT you will find that people are saying that many food bank users have very limited cooking facilities.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Tue 06-Jan-15 21:12:39

Haphazard - who, apart from you has said people shouldn't donate dark chocolate or brown rice because 'the poor cannot be expected to eat them'?

I pointed out to you, on the ore thread, that brown rice may not be the best choice because it will take longer to cook, and will therefore use up more electricity/gas which can be a very scarce resource for people who are at rock bottom financially. It may be a choice between cooking the rice, and keeping the lights on - because you have almost no money left on your electricity key/card, and ^no money to top it up!

And brown rice on its own is not a meal - you need something else to go with it - that will need cooking too, which uses more energy.

It is NOT a matter of snobbery - it is a matter of practicality. You have to give people things they can use, things that will fill them, give them and their children a hot meal, and nourish them without demanding resources they may not have - energy for cooking, utensils, herbs, spices etc, a cooker that works (if you are on your uppers, and your cooker breaks down, how can you afford to replace it?).

To help someone, you have to meet them where they are, not where you think they should be.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Tue 06-Jan-15 21:15:25

Tryharder -'as iloveaooty says, people may not have cooking facilities, or they may not be able to afford the energy to cook the 'healthier' food - what the food banks give them has to be practical for them!

haphazardbystarlight Tue 06-Jan-15 21:22:50

Okay - so what's the problem with chocolate then?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 06-Jan-15 21:23:29

Perhaps you should try reading all the thread, tryharder.

But to summarise for you: no one is saying the poor only want pot noodles. But many of the people who are desperate enough to need to use a food bank will also be short of the money for gas or electricity to cook that food. Boiling the kettle is cheaper than other forms of cooking. Some of those people may also be in accomodation where they only have access to a kettle or perhaps a microwave. In addition to that a pot noodle will do as 'complete' meal. Things like kidney beans or rice, while cheap, aren't. They tend to be used as part of a meal rather than just eating the tin of kidney beans on its own.

listsandbudgets Tue 06-Jan-15 21:23:35

I'm going to have to try those kidney bean canapes. I believe I am in the fortunate position of having all the ingredients in my cupboard. My children will be overwhelmed by their dinner tomorrow night. The big question is what do I give them for pudding? I know the OP mentioned tinned peaches but after a luxurious first course like that they seem almost an anti climax. Any suggestions?

I usually put in a bag of pasta, a bag of sugar, a jar of pasta sauce and a packet of whatever biscuits are on offer (penguins or clubs if I can get them because I like them and hope others do too). In the past I've also donated toilet roll, nappies, tin openers and around Christmas I always put in a few bit tubes of sweets

listsandbudgets Tue 06-Jan-15 21:24:51

big tubes not bit tubes.

Kiffykaffycoffee Tue 06-Jan-15 21:25:28

OP it's great that you are donating to a food bank, they are becoming more and more necessary sad but you have to give what the food bank organisers ask for, not what you think will be good for the clients. They have a lot of experience and know what kind of foods the people a) like, b) know how to cook, and c) have the facilities to cook. Although well intentioned, your quinoa/organic pesto would go uneaten.

DixieNormas Tue 06-Jan-15 21:26:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 06-Jan-15 21:26:15

Wrt to pot noodles, would the Dolmio pasta pots and Uncle Ben's curries be any good? The little ready made ones? Or no because they need a microwave?

Also the john west tuna lunches (not now, in summer)?

Not instead of things on the actual list, just as additions?

haphazardbystarlight Tue 06-Jan-15 21:27:25

And only people with children go to food banks?

Genuinely not trying to be disingenuous here but I just don't think we all have the same tastes - that's all. I know two people who prefer dark chocolate to milk - (not me!! grin)

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