In our book, “Voices Matter,” the subject of food banks is mentioned:
“Look at the Food Bank – now you can’t choose what you want, they give you prepackaged bags … people don’t use everything because it’s not what they like. A lot of the cans are dented. People don’t want dented cans because the inside of the cans are coated with chemicals … The Food Bank gives you what they have.”
There are a host of issues that go with any food bank. This includes collecting and storing the food, finding people to manage and distribute the operation, and the lack of choice – as mentioned above. When you go to a food bank, you take what they give you.
How can food banks be improved?
Maybe the best improvement would be to get rid of food banks altogether.
There was a recent article in the Toronto Star (link provided below) that describes a program set up in Woodstock, Ontario. In a nutshell, “Food for Friends” uses cash donations to fund gift cards that can be used to buy groceries.
Recipients ate able to choose whatever non-taxable items they want. This program seems to eliminate most, if not all, of the issues with food banks.
As I read the article, I thought that this sounds a lot like a version of the American food stamps program. Why aren’t we adopting this for use in all our communities that need it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Here’s the article: