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eJulia

Feeding the Homeless

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What a great thing to do in order to help and I applaud you all for doing the good deeds ! I need to be a "Cop" for a second....I work a police detail that deals with the homeless and come in contact daily with the people living on the freeways etc...I must inform you that 99 percent of them are drug users or alcoholics. I must urge you to not give money as I can tell you it will go right towards the next hit or bottle....but giving the items you have suggested in this thread is wonderful....another thing they need often are a change of socks.....trust me, its important to them....anyway, just my 2 cents...keep up the good work!


Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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You've got my wheels turning. I work downtown, and there is no shortage of people who could probably use something like this. About the only place I see them is within a block of my office. However, I can't hand meals out from the office, or we'll have a steady stream of people in here --and they already do break into the office on occasion when we're not here. The last one just wanted a warm, dry place to sleep, but he was also quite drunk.

The Catholic Diocese in our community has also opened up a place called "The Lord's Diner", which prepares and serves hot meals, free, to anyone who shows up. They're open for dinner only, 365 days a year.

I'm going to have to check around to see where the opportunities are for something like this. Even though TLD does a good job of meeting the need, I suspect there are those who can't get there, or can't take advantage of it for some other reason.

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A note on the wetnaps--at one time (I think we were serving buffalo wings at a party) I found a box of individually wrapped Purell wipes. You might look for those, or even google Purell.

What you're doing is amazing.

Susan

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What a great thing to do in order to help and I applaud you all for doing the good deeds ! I need to be a "Cop" for a second....I work a police detail that deals with the homeless and come in contact daily with the people living on the freeways etc...I must inform you that 99 percent of them are drug users or alcoholics. I must urge you to not give money as I can tell you it will go right towards the next hit or bottle....but giving the items you have suggested in this thread is wonderful....another thing they need often are a change of socks.....trust me, its important to them....anyway, just my 2 cents...keep up the good work!

Great suggestion on the socks... I know from previous "adventures" that socks are almost always listed as suggestions for "Angel Bags" at Christmas time, and that foot problems are common with folks whose feet might be frequently wet and who do have regular access to washing or showering facilities....

Point taken on the money hand-out.... One of the signs that cracked me up is one that read "Need Job" - what was this guy thinking? Someone would drive up to the intersection and offer him a job? :laugh: I wanted to roll down my window and suggest alternatives to that job searching methodology!

(I'm not trying to be insensitive, but sometimes strange things can make me laugh...) :shock:

eta: Missed words


Edited by eJulia (log)

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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I must urge you to not give money as I can tell you it will go right towards the next hit or bottle

If you had their life, wouldn't you want to get high to escape it, too? I mean, I'm just saying...

But anyway, I had an idea. What if you contacted the local highschool and asked if any kids would like to volunteer with you? I know that a lot of highschools now require some hours of community service in order to graduate and this might be something the would really enjoy doing. Particularly if a highschool in your area has a culinary program.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I must urge you to not give money as I can tell you it will go right towards the next hit or bottle

But anyway, I had an idea. What if you contacted the local highschool and asked if any kids would like to volunteer with you? I know that a lot of highschools now require some hours of community service in order to graduate and this might be something the would really enjoy doing. Particularly if a highschool in your area has a culinary program.

Pure genius.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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[...]When I used to travel for business, I hated leaving leftovers at restaurants, but really could not use a "doggy bag".  I was in New Orleans when a waiter told me to take the doggie bag and just leave it on top of a public trash bin (Back then, they were covered, but had a "slot" to throw your trash in...).  I remember the first time was right on Bourbon Street.  I never saw anyone pick it up, but it was gone in literally seconds!  It became my "game" to see how fast my little offerings would disappear!  Turned out to be a good way to avoid even leftovers from a bread basket from just getting tossed.

Do other cities have similar unwritten rules?[...]

I had a conversation with my brother about that. In San Francisco, homeless people are happy to accept leftovers. In New York, I've found that they won't touch them. New Yorkers are more suspicious.

Bingo! Years ago in NYC I had a horrible time trying to give homeless encaments the "high end" leftovers from catered gigs. "We don't want this crap", was the most common response. I promply stopped doing it and began donating the food to a free lunch program at a local church.

These days, I'm part of a group called the kitchen yogi's. We serve dinner to seventy men at a homeless shelter the last Sunday of the month (a day when all the other soup kitchens are closed). It's been a real hit

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Folks, we're keeping this thread up to discuss the food-related aspects of these good works. While the temptation to discuss a wide variety of subjects is great and understandable, let's do stick to food. Thanks.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I tried very hard to find what we used to call “Wet Naps” – moistened, single serve towelettes. You used to get them with take-out food – especially BBQ, fried chicken and anything else messy.  I figured they would be wonderful if you didn’t have regular access to showers – can you imagine how good they’d feel on your face?  Oddly enough, I couldn’t find them in the three stores I visited… all three had hand sanitizer, but even the cheapest small  bottle was a buck, and – you know it by now! – that meant fewer “Julia Bags”.

Another option for immediate use would be baby wipes. Unless they're sealed in something they dry out after a couple of hours.

Baby wipes will stay moist for months in zip top plastic bags. Generic zip top sandwich baggies are really cheap, and baby wipes are a lot more "skin friendly" than wet naps.

When the "Little Foodies" go on field trips at school that require a sack lunch, I include a baggie with a couple of baby wipes in it for clean up afterwards.

Works like a charm to get BBQ sauce off my 3 year old. With her, eating BBQ is a whole body experience.


Cheryl

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I tried very hard to find what we used to call “Wet Naps” – moistened, single serve towelettes. You used to get them with take-out food – especially BBQ, fried chicken and anything else messy.  I figured they would be wonderful if you didn’t have regular access to showers – can you imagine how good they’d feel on your face?  Oddly enough, I couldn’t find them in the three stores I visited… all three had hand sanitizer, but even the cheapest small  bottle was a buck, and – you know it by now! – that meant fewer “Julia Bags”.

Another option for immediate use would be baby wipes. Unless they're sealed in something they dry out after a couple of hours.

Baby wipes will stay moist for months in zip top plastic bags. Generic zip top sandwich baggies are really cheap, and baby wipes are a lot more "skin friendly" than wet naps.

When the "Little Foodies" go on field trips at school that require a sack lunch, I include a baggie with a couple of baby wipes in it for clean up afterwards.

Works like a charm to get BBQ sauce off my 3 year old. With her, eating BBQ is a whole body experience.

Thanks for the tip, "Mom"... I'll definitely use it next time...


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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I asked Susan in FL (Thanks, Susan!) to remove the subtitle to this thread, since in hindsight, I wanted it to be more than just about my "project"....

I saw a guy in the park today, in a wheelchair, with a bunch of garbage bags of "stuff" in tow... a sign, I think of someone with no home...

I didn't have anything to offer him! No water, no "gorp", no beef jerky...

Damn it made me mad! How can we ensure we have some "appropriate" foods with us to share? All suggestions (and experiences) welcome...


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Just for humor....

I remember seeing a sign at an intersection in Oklahoma (of all places!!!!) that read...

"Will work for vegan food"

Where is the camera when you need it? :laugh:

Thanks to everyone who has PM'd or responded to this thread... I don't want to be the focus, I'd love to hear how you personally have translated your love of food to supporting others..

Since it's the start of gardening season for so many of us, please be aware that there may be an organization (like here in P-Land) that helps home garden-ers to share their bounty with others.. you know, when that bumper crop of cucumbers has even your best office friend avoiding you in the hallways! :laugh:

Can't wait to hear more from this formidable community!


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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I'm working on some "anyday" food bags to have in the car..

Even on warm Oregon days, water stored in the car is uncomfortably hot and "less-than-tasty". Freezing them will defintely expand that "car-life"....

Beef jerky is a contender for sure. Breakfast or granola bars are a good choice, but I hate their reliance on "fake" ingredients...

Friut is always an ingredient of choice, but just doesn't age well in a hot car... What about dried fruits?

I will accept any suggestions.. don't have a sign, but if I did, it would read "Cancer Sucker looking for Hope" :biggrin:

Julia


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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What about bags of trail mix? Maybe the sealed kind

from the supermarket would stay better in the car

compared to the ones you fill at home. You could

probably find some brands with a better ingredient list

than others.

Good quality juice boxes or good old bottled water

along with them?

Single serving boxes of cereal? Nuts and raisins?

Individual serving baggies of some of the

better quality crackers or cookies?

Any of these could be vegan ....

Milagai

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Motts Fruitsations have no sugar added apple sauce with berries etc- I keep them in the house in case we run out of fresh fruit for my son's lunches.


The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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One thing you might want to consider adding is some toilet paper. What goes in must eventually come out. I think what you are doing is a great thing. I wish there had been more people like you when I went through a bout of homelessness in my youth.

And yes, dried fruit is a really good idea. About the only time modern health workers see scurvy these days is in the homeless population of larger cities; even a little Vitamin C once in a while staves it off.


This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Returned from Madrid two days ago. On one of my early morning strolls I was approached by a homeless man of about 50 years of age who asked if I could spare three Euros for coffee and churros. I invited him to join me for breakfast and we entered a pleasant neighborhood bar-restaurant and I asked him to order whatever he wanted from the menu. He ordered coffee and churros. I told him that he could have literally whatever he wanted and his response was that "I asked for three Euros and that's all I need". I think he did not see the several tears that fell from my eyes.

I am reminded of the Shalom Aleichem tale of Yona who died and made his way to heaven. He was greeted by angels to who took him to the throne of God and God said to him (I am paraphrasing): "Yona, all of your life you never complained. You were in Auschwitz and continued to seek the few pleasures that you could fid and never complained; you survived and opened a business and your partner stole every penny you had andyou never complained; your wife left you and took your clothing and your furniture, and you never complained. You suffered terrible diseases and never complained. Now you are in Heaven. Whatever you want is yours. Whatever..just name it". Yona hesitated for a moment and said "Perhaps every morning a bit of butter with my roll".

As a wine and food critic I am very aware every day that there is something terribly immoral about what I do. After all, even though 40% of the population of our planet is born hungry, lives their whole lives hungry and dies hungry, who the devil am I to write about the glories of fine cuisine?????

My catharsis for the year 2006!!!!

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Daniel...

Eloquence. I'm speechless.

J.


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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I had "my first woman" this week.

Get it out of the gutter! :laugh: Seriously, I ran into the first female homeless soul looking for support since I started this odyssey.

She had been kicked out of her apartment for having too many "roommates".

How, she asked, do you get a job with no address, no phone, and no clean clothes? I get it. I've worked closely with families trying to get re-established, and have been frustrated with them on the seemingly impossible task of climbing out of homelessness.

I did what little I could. I gave her a bag of soda (her request), beef jerky, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, fruit, cleansing cloths.

I hope I don't see her aqain.


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Not food related, but many business travelers get those little

bags of airline toiletries (toothbrush and paste, soap-isotope, socks, etc.).

If you know such travelers, get their surpluses to hand out....

Food related: the toothbrush/paste part ....

Milagai

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Not food related, but many business travelers get those little

bags of airline toiletries (toothbrush and paste, soap-isotope, socks, etc.).

If you know such travelers, get their surpluses to hand out....

Food related:  the toothbrush/paste part ....

Milagai

It's probably off topic, but you make a good point. Business travelers can help by stashing all the "freebies", letting housekeeping restock every day and donating their "proceeds"... to shelters catering to abuse victims, rape victims, homeless, etc.

Those silly soaps, shampoos, coffee packs can mean a bunch to a newly displaced woman or family.


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Not food related, but many business travelers get those little

bags of airline toiletries (toothbrush and paste, soap-isotope, socks, etc.).

If you know such travelers, get their surpluses to hand out....

Food related:  the toothbrush/paste part ....

Milagai

It's probably off topic, but you make a good point. Business travelers can help by stashing all the "freebies", letting housekeeping restock every day and donating their "proceeds"... to shelters catering to abuse victims, rape victims, homeless, etc.

Those silly soaps, shampoos, coffee packs can mean a bunch to a newly displaced woman or family.

I work in public housing with seniors, young families, homeless men and women, the rainbow of humanity. My handbag could pass for a small suitecase for all the daily "necesssities" I carry for my personal comfort---on one side. The other side contains small packs of gum, LifeSaver rolls (some sugar free) purse packs of Kleenex and as much fast food sugar, catsup, mustard, soy sauce, salt, pepper packets as I can jam in. Arbys still has the handi-wipes, bbq-sauce and mayo. :smile:

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This is a wonderful thing you're doing.

For food such as candy, cookies, crackers, and wet naps, etc, don't overlook the almighty dollar stores. They often have good prices on those items and many more too, if you look around.


---------------------------------------

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I read an article in the newspaper a few months ago that discussed giving money or food to homeless people. The point of it was that that person is not just the homeless person on the corner bothering you, he or she has a name and is a person. That article really made me change the way I felt. Instead of turning my eyes away, I began to smile and apologize that I didn't have any "extra" money to give away.

When this thread came along, I remembered that I wanted to do more. So today, while I waited for the light to change, a man with a sign passed my car. I didn't have any change, but I offered him a bottle of water. He thanked me, and took it, but I thank you for reminding me of how much I have and how easy it is to do something to make someone else's day better.

Any start is better than nothing!

Thanks for the inspiration!!! :wub:

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