Charity Starts at Home

Living in Westminster, I get to see a lot of homeless people. It is the policy of our Borough to discourage giving cash. They might be scamming. They might use it to buy smack. I don’t know. If people feel that they have spare cash to give, then maybe they should just do what their hearts tell them to do.

I don’t give cash. I can’t spare it. Not one pence. But, I can give other stuff. Socks, for example. Sometimes I leave socks with the sleeping man down the block. Or a t-shirt that is just hanging around the flat not doing anyone any good. Sometimes I will buy some food or orange juice. One time I got yelled at by one of our local homeless for offering her orange juice. Apparently, she only wanted cash. I wanted to give her the two fingers as she was yelling at me, but I tried to remind myself that something, not the orange juice, sent her off the rails maybe years ago.

San Francisco is doing a thing called “Replate.” Leave your leftover food in a doggie bag on top of a bin. I kinda like it. There is the sanitary question, but I guess it’s better than actually eating out of the bin.

Speaking of which, I was having a chat with one of the security blokes behind Marks and Sparks on Long Acre. I asked him if a lot of food gets thrown away. “A shameless amount,” he said. I’ve heard of urban foragers who bin dive for food. It’s perfectly good food. My question is why grocers don’t do what Pret do. They give away their food for free at the end of the day.

You can’t bin dive at Long Acre, though. I’ve already checked. They’ve got security measures in place to protect all of that free food on its way to the land fill. How can we expect to save the planet and all those children starving in Africa if we are throwing away perfectly good food? Why can’t I have the free, not-even-barely-out-of-date food and then send the money that I would otherwise spend on food to Oxfam or something.

Sorry, this is such a rambling post. So stressed with the move that I can’t think clearly to edit.

1 Comment so far

  1. Chivalry is not Dead in London | London Metblogs (pingback) on August 6th, 2008 @ 11:35 am

    […] piercings. I no more expected him to be polite than I would a Chav or a boy in a hoodie or my neighborhood homeless lady who used to scream at me when I bought her orange juice. But, come to think of it, every person […]

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