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home : opinion : opinion May 26, 2016

10/3/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letter: Food bank could use better food

I have significant health problems and am unable to work. I'm not lazy and I am not a drug addict. I have to use the food bank. I find no fault with the food bank. The staff and volunteers are wonderful and the food bank provides a great service.

My issue is with the quality of food that is donated to the food bank. I throw out a significant amount of the food because it is rotting or molding. This is a big problem with the breads. I would rather have better quality fruits and vegetables than boxes of hard donuts. The final straw for me was when I found worms in a box of rice.

I challenge local grocery stores or other organizations that make donations to the food bank to donate higher quality food.

Thank you,

Lisa Swan


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa Swan

btw - I knew 100% someone would throw the "beggars can't be choosers" comment...not terribly creative thinking on the problem.

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa Swan

I pay my water bill and all my other bills. I purchased my computer back when I was working and I did, in fact, try to sell it in the last 6 months but it was too old. I pay very little for my internet, I don't have all that high speed stuff. But this isn't about me. And I think I did comment that I thought well of the food bank staff and volunteers. None the less, as with anything, there is room for improvement. I don't think that just because I am poor I can't have an opinion or make suggestions for improvement. I personally will not be able to go to the food bank because of the worms, that just freaked me out too much but I am advocating that it be improved for other people.

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: Illegal Food

The subject being Food Banks, that is what I mentioned . Only ax I would grind would be over some poor person starving while rich people take what they need. Ever see a wealthy person collecting aluminum cans? I have, and greed can be absurd.This is all cheap trick, the big charity ripoffs are among-st the top 5 and directly supported by cash from Churches all over the state.
I was unfortunate enough to overhear an argument in another Az city over charity funds being used to fund drug dealing and as to whether they should kill one of their members since there was fear that person would be arrested for the murder of a young child. They suspected I had overheard by their actions & I never went back. My word would have meant little in that instance, but I did drop a note in the mail.

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: Just Saying

Lisa, sell your computer, use that cash to start your own garden. I've seen the tomato plant hangers for sale at Walgreens very cheap. Other fruits and vegetables flourish in this climate as well.

What about the water expense you say? Well, now that you have no computer, no need for Internet service, use that "disposable income" to cover the water bill.

Problem solved. You're welcome. Just doing my part to make sure people are taken care of in my community.

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: frank lee speaking

@illegal food

"this activity has been captured by video and multiple witnesses."

so is this hard-hitting, scandal busting video available for viewing anywhere, like youtube? or maybe you just have a grudge against someone.

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: Former Food Bank Volunteer

As someone who once volunteered/ran a local food bank and emergency services facility, I am amazed that people actually complain about the free food they are given.

In the current economical climate the stores that once were able to give so freely are now forced to try and sell most of their unsalable perishables. Donations from these generous stores are in the toilet, through no fault of their own.

The government has always given low quality food to those in need. If any of you remember the commodities programs of days gone by you'll remember the big blocks of greasy cheese, tubes of bologna and spam that were the staple of the diets. That also explains the high percentage of diabetes and related illness found at the poverty level in our society.
The mold on fruit, vegetables and grain products can be cut and still used. Our ancestors wasted nothing. It past time for those of us living in this disposable society learned that lessons in gratitude and resourcefulness.
Yes, I too, am disabled and living on a fixed income that sometimes means I must utilize the food bank.

I am so grateful to those that volunteer their time. I think everyone who utilizes the food banks (and other resources) should spend a couple of hours a month helping out, to better understand how the system works.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Illegal Food

@tj denton
"how can you have free food for sale?"
They get it for free and then they resell it, sometimes repackaging dry goods.
"and is someone who gets 20 dollars worth of food, really trying to re-sell it? when they make 150,000 a year? and who buys food at yard sales?"
Afraid I can't explain the greed of these wealthy, above the law, cretins. But they sell a lot more than just food. As for who buys, anyone that goes to such sales, many times below wholesale prices. I think I have seen everything short of a nuclear weapon for sale in Yards in Kingman. This activity has been captured by video and multiple witnesses.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Old Desert Woman

@ frankly speaking.
There are always excuses for not doing something. There is water here. I'm sure a large lot with water access could grow lots of vegetables with some support. It is a desert but churches and community can find ways to see that people have fresh vegetables. I have grown a large garden this year, given to neighbors and paid my own water bill even though my income is very limited. I'm not young either. If a food bank can operate with volunteers a vegetable garden can be grown with cooperation and neighborly help. People can also grow sprouts which are high in nutrition and there are more than a few fruit trees in town that could be gleaned for fresh fruit. People don't have to rely on food banks if they have a will to find a way.

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Old Desert Woman

Re: Gardens here and there.

And how do you propose watering them if water is not available on-site? Who will pay for the water? It is called a desert for a reason lady.

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: tj denton

illegal food...

how can you have free food for sale?

and is someone who gets 20 dollars worth of food, really trying to re-sell it? when they make 150,000 a year? and who buys food at yard sales? your story seems extremely far fetched.

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: Old Desert Woman

There is a need for more gardens in this community. There is plenty of land scattered here and there for there to be community gardens. Fresh vegitables and fruits are not that far away if you put in a little effort. For those with health limitations if the community and churches would just get involved there could be plenty for all as well as fresh eggs.

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: Illegal Food

There is an aspect that no one mentions. People taking food and telling lies to get it, when they have plenty of cash. I know of one such person, they own multiple rental buildings, would guess they make about $150,000 a year, aside from other money sources.Every few months they have a yard sale & out comes the free food for sale. Seems like the food bank does not check out clients very well, or he is very good at fraud and leads a double life.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Excellent points Desert Angel. Thankfully I have never needed to use the food bank, but I do drop off a bag of canned goods, cereal, peanut butter and other non-perishables now and then. Having to deal with donated fruits and vegetables must be an unholy nightmare and I guess the best thing that can be said is – just tough it out.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: Desert Angel

The food bank does the best they can with what they are given. Instead of complaining, maybe you should consider volunteering. Then maybe you would get the first come, first serve portion.
Betty and her crew are wonderful people who volunteer to help people who complain they never get enough. I have had to use the food bank myself and never complained. Just fed the birds what my family refused to eat.
It is given free, take it with a grain of salt.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: Dad always said

"dont look a gift horse in the mouth". I too have needed the food bank a couple of times over the last few years.

I will NEVER complain about it. The food that is close to ruin give to animals. Be grateful that we have a food bank.

Only in America you'll find people that complain about socal programs the rest of the world have no access to.

Im grateful for SSD and any help thats availible or me. My biggest fear is our politicians will finally find a way to steal the rest of SSD funds leaving those who earned it starving in the streets.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: Just Sayin

I feel for you, I really do. Times are tight for many, and people are doing what they can. I am glad you chose to write to challenge the grocery stores, but for me, if I were getting something for free, I wouldn't complain.
I too am on a very limited income and do not qualify for benefits. I have about 50 every two weeks for groceries. I get top ramen, eggs, canned meats and canned vegetables. I make a variety of meals with those items. Granted I would rather eat better, it is a balanced meal with a little protein, and vegetation.
As far as your problems with the bread being moldy, if it is a good bread it won't last on the counter for a week before mold grows. I have purchased bread from discount stores and let me tell you it can sit for over a month and it will not get a spot of mold on it. I think I would rather get the good bread that may mold before the one so loaded with preservatives it lasts a month. Worms in the rice, well that happens. Weevles (or whatever they are called) often show up in pastas and rice products. I have found them when making mac n' cheese for my kids.
I hope the stores step up and take your challenge, but if they do not, be happy there is a food bank and to get what you get.

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Earla Braband Braband

I was fortunate enough to be allowed to use this food bank for several years,if it is still as it was then,you were allowed three times per year.The food box for a family of four was quite sparse!Or Lacking.mostly can goods,little real meat if any.Produce was on deaths doorstep,fruit was often bruised,no one wanted to eat it.wonder if the people that donate it would even eat it??Now live in oregon.You GET 12 Times per one year.Actual real food.It is a poor Democratic state,Your a Republican state WHATS UP WITH THAT?????

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: JIST ME

Lisa, you are welcome to join us for an occasional meal at Cornerstone Mission, any day between 4 and 6 pm

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Standing For Truth

@ Lisa Swan

I'm afraid that will never change. You live in a community that believes anyone needing help only deserves rotting worms and mold.

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Food Not

All the foods you mention Lisa would cause an allergic reaction for me, except for rice. Even a normal grocery store is 90% out of bounds due to my food allergies. Did check at food bank years ago, nothing I could eat. But as the old saying goes Beggars can't be choosers. You would be amazed how long you can go without food. My record without any food at all was 30 days.

Now I am doing better, but can only afford about 10% of medications, and am now eating 6 meals a week, I fast on Sundays. Am amazed how many people think you need 3 meals a day, that might be nice, but bare survival is far less. Had one woman mention that she thought she would die if she went more than 1 day without food, diabetics might have problems but average person only needs power of will.

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Jack Shepherd

I am ashamed to admit for the first time since 1977 I had to use the food bank this year. I too have health issues and have been out of work since June 2007. Recently it took eight months to save enough to start bankruptcy. This is only going to get worse with are politicains and no budget and Obamas free entiltiment programs. I would be ashamed to ask for a hand out and then complaine. The bread if molding can be given to birds. I suggest we all find a way to share not complaine!

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