In-laws & food bank issue

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In-laws & food bank issue
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 8:48am
My FIL and step-MIL are really broke. He collects social security and a small retirement and she is unemployed. They have resorted to going to the food bank for food, but that isn't the problem.

The problem is, instead of going to 1 food bank (which I thought was the law in my state), they go to 3 or 4. They collect the maximum amount of food at each. When they get home, they go through all the food, keep what they want, then hand out the rest to family and friends. They go to a different food bank almost everyday.

It's my opinion they are visiting different food banks so they can get enough of the food they like to eat (very picky eaters). However, my biggest concern is the amount of food my in-laws are handing away - about $30 worth to each friend/family member. I'm worred about other families/children in our area who really don't have enough food that my in-laws are taking it from.

I don't know - maybe I'm just "making a mountain out of a molehill" here, but, I just feel it is morally wrong for them to be doing this. Any opinions?

Avatar for goldie15
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 1:56pm
My youngest son's girlfriend does that. It really bothers me to the extreme. Not only does she do the food bank thing but she also recieves over $400, in food stamps monthly plus a $653 social security check for her 5 year old disabled son, with all medical benefits that include all meds, doctor visits, therapy,diapers, special "swings" (used to cradle him when he is frusrtated), he has autism and is considered severly handicapped. She also recieves "free" babysitting. She does not work and her day consist of going to food banks and getting anything free she can, then going from friend to friend and distributing it. She is a pro at finding anything offered that is free.

It bothers me thinking that someone that is already getting so much, is abusing the system and someone who may really need it will not get it when necessary.

I am not saying she should not get anything free, or ask for help, but she is already getting so much and it is never enough for her!

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 5:07pm
I agree with you 100%. It is morally wrong to take more than their fair share at the food bank and then give the surplus away to family and friends who aren't needy. There are hungry people in this country who need that food.

I am a big supporter of our local food bank, in fact I run the annual food drive for my company (got my picture in the company newsletter this month for it too :) So this issue is close to my heart. I don't believe anyone should go hungry and I cannot stand it when people take food out of other people's mouths. Right now, with this economy, our local food bank is really low on food because there are fewer people donating and more people needing the help.

So I support you 100% in your feeling that what your in-laws are doing is immoral. Morality is one of those kind of nebulous things and is different for people of different faiths, cultures, and so on, but I think that feeding the hungry is a universal value.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 6:38pm
It is wrong, plain and simple. It is probably against the law (or the rules of the banks).

But the question is: What are you going to do about it?

While turning them in may be out of the question for family harmony, do you at least tell them what they do is wrong? Or at the very least, do you not accept any of this food?

Ejkdmom Come visit my store:
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 9:42am
I'm wondering if you could satisfy your curiosity by calling your local foodbank. I'm pretty sure that each of them has a way of keeping track of who visits when. You might drop them a hint that certain people by your IL's last name tend to visit food banks like they are grocery stores and then give the food away that they don't want. I would bet that they would be calling other foodbanks to check out your story.

I used to know someone who ran a food bank and she had a list of "visitors" who had to show ID every time they visited. They were only open two days a week, and they shared their list with other foodbanks in the area. Eventually, they began to know those who abused the system.