Optional giving to relieve the problem of poverty fails when it becomes the main vehicle to reduce poverty or hunger.

Invariably what happens is similar to what George W Bush said during the TARP bailout when he said that Socialism had to save Capitalism.  The food banks are a wonderful idea but they cannot deal with the enormity of poverty in America.  Food banks are OPTIONAL giving meaning when you can you do give and when you cannot then people do without as a result of your not giving. If in a city a factory is closed….all of those people giving are now in need…how is that deficit made up? It ususally is not as the factory closing will affect so many more people and businesses in that city.  No wonder fod banks are closing so often.   However when the government has a program that consistently gives…those in need are assured a baseline of what to expect.  The nation tried Optional giving before….which led to our government programs…because the optional giving failed to meet the demand.  Here is it being discussed again in this article.

The story is located here

Power suggests that food banks are incapable of ending hunger partially because people who could be considered hungry don’t use them and they can only supply what is donated, which is often insufficient both in nutritional value and volume. Much of the food that is donated comes from corporations that may have motivations beyond feeding the hungry.

Food banks are good for corporations, especially food corporations. They can use food banks to offload edible food they can’t sell, then advertise themselves as caring businesses. And holding corporate-wide food drives builds company morale. None of these corporate benefits are problematic in themselves, but they mean that corporations have a vested interest in the status quo.

Herb Barbolet, from Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development, backs up Powers’s claim.

A lot of the food donated by corporations is unsellable. It may contain too high proportion of salt or transfats or other ingredients that health conscious eaters don’t want. Or, it may be close to being stale-dated. It should be unconscionable to give junk food and garbage to hungry people – and make them stand in line for it, at that.

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