Our team helped out at the Union Gospel Mission in New Westminster while with YWAM. There they have a bread program where they receive the donations, they hand out the donations, and people get bread. Simple, right?
It was a good exercise for us to see that even poor people have likes and dislikes, preferences, and actually do turn down the offer of bread if it is not to their liking or they know they will not eat it before it goes stale or bad. Just because you're in need, doesn't always mean you automatically down the first meal you're given. Besides, even marginalized folks experience diabetes, high blood pressure, food allergies, and other conditions that exclude them from accepting certain foods. This surprised many team members, but it was a good lesson to learn.
Back home… I coordinate the community food bank. Bread is hard to come by. The grocery store that supplied us with bread shut down last year. The others? The bread that legally cannot be on the shelf anymore is tossed out. Gone.
I find this morally reprehensible.
To my knowledge, it has little to do with willingness, but more to do with legalities and policies. But such incredibly stinking policies! Perfectly good, healthy bread is TOSSED OUT?! I don't think there's an emoticon in the world that could represent my screech. People are hungry around the globe and we have the audacity to get rid of loaves and loaves by the day.
Will a chunk of bread save someone's life?
In the moment, probably not.
In the grand scheme of things, a chunk of bread is Christ's Body… "given for us… do this in remembrance of Me."
To dispose of needed food when the hungry stand in our midst is wrong. We would do well to re-determine our policies that such govern such atrocities.