I just cancelled my Santa Cruz Gray Bears brown bag deliveries. Every week I have been receiving it free. The idea is very nice. But, for the little I am able to eat, it is not worth it. I usually have to find someone to take the food off my hands. Not an easy task when I have a limited number of (also elder) friends and am not well quite a bit.
A friend has chickens, and when no one wants the food, I call her and she comes to get it. Chickens don't eat broccoli, so that goes to waste. Continuing to receive the bag of food weekly, it really isn't fair to those who run the program and the volunteers, even though they don't know of my dissatisfaction. Their ideals and commitment to their good deeds deserve to be effective. But, the amount of time I spend calling around to friends to find someone who wants some item of food, is not worth my time and energy, which could be put to better use. And, I can barely eat what I am given. Usually it is the following:
2 bags of salad greens
1 can of green beans
occasionally white rice or dried beans in a small plastic baggie
Bread of some sort
Am I being ungrateful? My mother, (RIP) would be quite upset that I don't appreciate what I am given. She would want me to "Eat it all gone! People in India are starving to death!". It has nothing to do with a lack of gratitude. I remember that back in the 1970s it made the news that elders were eating canned cat food because they couldn't afford to buy human tuna. And their lack of balanced nutritional intake contributed to their demise. I'm sure that before this became news it was an ongoing issue for elders and those who were poor but not poor enough to qualify for food stamps, which didn't exist as a regular government program until 1964.
I cannot often eat potatoes. I put them in the vegetable drawer where they get wrinkled and start to grow. Onions are totally out of the question. I would be so sick if I ate them. The doctor warned me not to eat Brussels sprouts due to my propensity to produce bladder stones. Same goes for spinach which is often in one of the salad bags. Green beans, believe it or not contribute to upset stomach along with the dried beans. I've come to the conclusion that I can buy apples without bruises and carrots (which I love) without having to find someone to take the other items. When the chicken lady is not available, most all of it becomes garbage. Sadly, I no longer try to keep a compost bin.
So basically, I can use the rice and bread, though the bread is often out of date and in need of a saw to cut through it. Only kidding about that. A good serrated knife will do the job.
Why don't I just use my food stamps to buy the food I am able to eat? Fifteen dollars a month of food stamp allotment is not sufficient to provide me with adequate nutrition to get through more than a week. And believe it or not, though my income is officially "below the poverty level" I do not qualify for more than the fifteen dollars.