(Video) Is it Smart for Charities to Buy the Things they Donate?


I never really gave the charity situation much thought until I went to the Seventh Day Adventist foodbank in Bakersfield, California. One of the volunteers said that they can’t maintain a regular distribution schedule because they buy all their own food to donate to us. Since they don’t always have the money available for purchasing in bulk, they have to skip some of their distribution days.

First I question why an organization gets involved in charity work. Is there an attractive tax benefit to spend some resources on giving free food to the poor. This has always been curious to me. I can understand that the charity volunteers might get first pick of the food, or even a little extra portions for themselves. Although some people need to work off some kind of debt to society through the legal system too.

Second, how does a food bank charity get involved with the food distribution networks. Can it be too hard to maintain good relations with some of them? If the charity organizations can’t maintain good relations with each other to maintain an effective food distribution network, them channels of delivery break down. This can lead to waste, where the grocery stores, or even the farmers resort to dumping their produce into the trash.

I have always looked at the food banks as being one step above dumpster diving. When the food banks can’t maintain a good relation with the local grocery stores, then people may have to take a sneaky step backward and camp out behind the stores for when the foods are being dumped. What system works best for people in the region? Every situation is different.

Also, this food bank not only spent their own money on the food bank items, but they also purchased mostly unhealthy junk food as a result. Feeding the poor junk food does not help out their situation. Sugar extracts have been proven to damage our health and lead to rising healthcare costs. Whatever deals the charity groups think they are getting are in turn lost through the sugar extract products that were cheaper.

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