I just want to say about how it is helpful to donate to food banks, and how it is not helpful to donate to food banks. These "not helpful" things mostly are matters of things which you could do a whole lot better, but there will also be a "please don't do this" of things that are actually harmful
- Donate money to a food bank
- Donate non-perishable food you won't be eating to a food bank
- Donate good quality fresh food to a food bank (somewhat iffy, as it depends)
- Buy food to donate to a food bank (they can do more with the money)
- Donate food in open packages
- Donate *any* meat other than in a tin (spam, tinned fish, et cetera)
- Donation of home canned foods (this can be OK, if there is a prearrangement about it)
I got what started out as, "weird" and progressed to, "annoying" (largely because of the animated avatar image), to really upsetting once I realized just what I was seeing happening, comment on one of my other (I think previous) journal entries.
I used to work in the food bank, and learnt a lot through the years of doing so. It was rare that the things that are in the "don't do" column happened, and I think part of that was because they did a good job of educating people who donated items about those things.
The person may not have really learnt, but they wouldn't come back doing the same thing. They may have called us ungrateful swine or something and stormed out, never to come back again.
What was pretty annoying was the number of times that someone would come in with canned food which seemed pretty obviously something bought to donate. The thing is, sometimes this is stuff that is more difficult to get rid of (ie. it's not what people are coming in for) and more importantly the food back almost always gets 1.5 times as much food for the same amount of money, and it sometimes can even exceed 4 times the amount of food.
The canned food you aren't going to eat, but somehow have. Great, let's get it to someone who can/will eat it. But it's not good to go out and buy food. I know it can feel a lot more like "doing something" than to pop in and give them $10 or $500 or whatever. It just could be a lot better just to give them the money.