Food Donations Often Left Unused; Donors Should Ask Families What They Need

Donating to the needy is a noble cause, but there are right and wrong ways to do so.

While food donations are the easiest option, many may not know that these items aren’t always fully utilised.

More often than not, needy families who don’t use the items end up leaving them to waste, inevitably making the donors’ efforts pointless.

Food donations often go to waste

Volunteer group Keeping Hope Alive 让希望活下去 highlighted the situation in a Facebook post on Wednesday (14 Aug).

Source

They have discovered from their regular visits to needy families’ homes that food donations tend to go unused, left to expire on shelves or in fridges.

Volunteers notice that products like cooking oil, soya sauce and canned food often accumulate and collect dust, clear signs of neglect.

The accumulated items then leave quite a mess in the families’ homes.

Source

Though well-meaning donors have only the best intentions at heart, they may not be aware that the needy have no use for these items, especially since most of them don’t cook.

Many are also in their senior years, which means that they have to avoid these foods for their health.

Ask needy families what they need

The best solution to avoid any wastage is to ask needy families what they need most. Or if that’s not possible, donors can consider supermarket vouchers instead.

Those thinking of getting even more involved can reach out to Keeping Hope Alive 让希望活下去, who regularly conduct door-to-door visits.

Source

They also bring needy families to the nearest shops for groceries, so they’ll only buy what they need.

The quote that the group ends the post with is perhaps the best advice we need:

If what we give will hurt a person, the best solution is to give nothing. Giving requires wisdom, and that wisdom is acquired through asking.

The desire to help is indeed beautiful, but sincerity comes from knowing how we’re affecting people’s lives every step of the way, rather than doing the action itself.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.