Let me start by saying I am offended by food banks. (Goodbye, liberal leftie friends who also graduated with an Arts degree, you need read no further.)
I simply don't think we should have food banks. There, I said it.
What we should have are: wages the poorest can live on and work with dignity. In cases of big trouble, we should have enough counseling and help so that people who were assaulted as children or screwed up in some other way, can hold down jobs and make their own way. If we as a society provide what people really need, food banks could close and the people who volunteer at them and donate to them could get on with whatever they really wanted to do instead.
For that matter, I don't think we should have shelters for women fleeing domestic assault and abuse, either. We should not need them, since people should not be using violence in their homes. But, some people do, so we have shelters, and the world is not the way it SHOULD be, so we have food banks, too.
In some cases, the people who use food banks have made very poor life choices; this is undoubtedly true. In some other cases, the people have made many right choices and things still didn't work out, so here we are.
This morning, a lovely woman who works at the offices at Simcoe County dropped off at my workplace a frighteningly small box of food, which I have agreed to live on, Monday to Friday, next week. It contains what you might think it contains: spaghetti, tuna, mac and cheese, that sort of thing.
Most of the 'food' is stuff which I would not ordinarily entertain in my kitchen. I was raised on a farm and learned to cook in my 4H clubs, so I was the guy in the dorm at university, baking bread in my toaster oven. I'm not entirely sure what Viennese sausages are, much less how one would eat them, and I make my soups starting with the bones of critters I've roasted, so the stuff in the tin will be weird. Looking at the label, it's also crazy salty. There's also peanut butter with icing sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil in the ingredient list. Yikes.
But, this is the food that goes to the people who have no more choices left.
I have heard people in my family sneer about, 'those lazy scammers' at the food bank, getting free food and not working while they smoke or drink away their disability cheques. But, looking at this box of junky food, I somehow don't think anyone is trying to trick anyone else into giving them free canned green beans (gross!)
I will keep you updated on my progress, as soon as I talk to the organiser, to see just how many herbs I can slip in to these meals while maintaining my status as a member of the experiment.