A couple of years ago The National Post published a piece identifying why we should prioritize the donation of money to food banks over food. The article and the accompanying video that The National Post produced are making the rounds online again this holiday season.
Any form of donation is a wonderful thing, but the article helps explain why leaving the food purchasing in the hands of food banks will lead to the most efficient and cost effective route for getting food to those in need. When we collect a random array of boxed and canned foods to donate to a food bank, that organization is left responsible for the time and cost of picking up, taking inventory, organizing, and storing all of the food donations on top of the already immense task of distributing food to people who utilize their services.
By giving money to these organizations we provide them with the freedom to purchase exactly what is needed in bulk amounts for a lower cost — and the step of gathering and sorting through donations is taken out of the equation. The amount we spend on the food that we donate could be stretched so much further in the hands of the charitable organizations.
We buy our food at full retain price, but food banks have access to purchasing on a wholesale level — and at a discounted rate due to their charitable status. Food banks also frequently have connections with farmers who provide them with great deals on fresh produce.
The article notes that charitable organizations are hesitant to be vocal about this issue because they would never want to dissuade any form of giving, and receiving food donations is better than no donations at all. So, it is up to us to recognize the benefits of donating money rather than food. It’s a simple matter of efficiency.
Leave a Reply