More musings on food banks

A tray of brawnies on the stove and a hand in front holding  packet mix of greens vegemite brownies
The $1 Vegemite brownies I got from the church foodbanks were… odd. And they haven’t been finished off which usually happens to anything sweet in this house. I see why they were written off at the supermarket as not selling.

So, I was scrolling through Twitter and in amongst the horrors occurring in Palestine, I saw a few friends commenting on a post made by a chap named Kos Samaras , talking about how poor people are more concerned about the cost of living than deaths in Palestine. He made another one similar about the failed referendum. I’d link or share a screenshot, but I’m blocked. Kos is a Labor chap and lobbiest. So I guess he doesn’t like poor people speaking up for themselves. Kinda like how Van Badham blocked me not long after I replied to a post she (and Jane Caro and someone else echoed) asking about our experiences on welfare and I shared my story of being rejected for DSP. I mean t wasn’t in response to that post I was blocked, but it was the same week, she was just on a run of blocking people in the antipoverty space,

Anyways. In this thread, Greg Jericho (of Grog’s Gamut fame, ‘member when he was one of the first Aussie bloggers sacked over blogging?) posted a link to a recent Australia Institute report on Food Waste In Australia, with the overview talking about how food retailers actually profit from food waste, to the tune of $1.2 billion. How they do that is just another story of the rules allow you to make more money when you already have money – can’t sell something? Write it off as a loss and sell it cheap or donate it to Foodbank or Ozharvest and look like a hero while it doesn’t actually cost you anything. Meanwhile you can mark up your regular stock because things apparently are expensive, and you need to cover the cost of surveillance cameras, auto closing gates, racial profiling, and having guards follow Blak kids around the store (you’ve seen it happen), or just having your regular staff grabbing 4 year olds and accusing them of stealing.

It concerns me then that supermarkets and charities like Foodbank push for more financial incentives for Supermarkets to donate less desirable goods – whether they’re past their bet before days, a bit ugly or just not moving off the shelves – rather than advocating to raise income support or regulate how much profit Coles can make off a grocery shop so that we can buy the products we want when we want them and not have to rely on the “kindness” of others who make more money than us to get us these offcuts.

I still struggle with Woolies asking me (or anyone) for a 50 cent donation for foodbank at the checkout when the charities I buy my pantry goods from are charged for their orders of donated goods. Maybe I’m missing something? I’ve not gone into the nitty gritty of their annual reports  of the not for profits, but I still know I’m paying for that can of chickpeas from the church pantry.

I noticed the other day that my local woolies accepts direct donated goods from customers for two local community centres via OzHarvest. And I checked, those then are free for the person off the street in need. So, please, do check where your donation is going, because it all feels like there’s a lot of money being passed around and written in spreadsheets only for the welfare class to be told to be happy they’re getting anything at all.

 

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