Is it wrong to take a free lunch when I don't need it?

edited 16 June 2015 at 5:26PM in Food shopping & groceries
41 replies 19.4K views
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  • TabbitTabbit Forumite
    25 Posts
    To me it depends on two questions;

    Do you believe that the service is intended to target those who could otherwise not afford lunch and do you believe that the majority of those who are using this service fit in to this target group?

    If yes, then it's probably not best for you to be using the service. Still doesn't hurt to ask them though. You may find that they make more than they could possibly give away to the vulnerable in that area per day and they are grateful to have other people use the food as they are also concerned about wastage and the environment and they also appreciate the donation. Could be that they keep food aside for their target group. Could be that they don't want people to have to publicly declare themselves as vulnerable by being the only people allowed to go and collect food. Could be they need to raise awareness that they even offer the service and getting more people to use it helps spread the word to those that truly need it. You just don't know until you ask...

    If no, does it appear that others using the service (who we've established don't seem to fit in to the 'vulnerable' category) are donating also?

    If yes, then I fail to see what is wrong with you using the service.
    If no, well, at least you are donating to their cause and assisting them to continue their good work, unlike the rest of them...

    That's how it seems to me anyway...

    I guess the short version would be to go and ask them! :D
  • TalentTalent Forumite
    244 Posts
    You obviously have a conscience.... go with it.
  • Nada666Nada666 Forumite
    5K Posts
    You've got a job, so go and buy your food from a shop and leave the free food for those who need it.
    But the days of only people living on the street going to only soup kitchens is long gone.

    Most people who are served by FareShare et al do not need the service. Most people who claim grants rather than loans don't need them. Most people who claim top-up benefits are not in need.

    Many working people are not catered to by supermarkets. Why should they not avail themselves of the offer?
  • Nada666Nada666 Forumite
    5K Posts
    If the food is donated by supermarkets you making a donation will not make another meal available for someone else.
    Yet it will. Without donations such services cannot exist. Accessing any arbitrary quantity of food is a much smaller problem than accessing funds to pay for the background costs.
  • duchyduchy Forumite
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    It's a matter for your own belief system

    Personally I wouldn't do it - as I'd feel it wasn't meant for me but for people who can't afford a shop bought lunch - and if any of my friends did it I'd think less of them for it because they weren't seeing it was a selfish act.

    I don't think you can stop selfishness - some people are more selfish than others - but you can pick your friends and you shouldn't be surprised that some people regard you as selfish if they catch you doing it. Whether than bothers you or not is another matter.

    If you want to save money- take a pack up to work.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

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  • keithyno.1keithyno.1 Forumite
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    WHO CARES???!!

    Honestly, if this is the only money moral dilemma facing you in your life, you really need to start going out and actually LIVING a bit more!!
  • jillmariejillmarie Forumite
    13 Posts
    Just because you go to work it doesn't mean that you have bags of money or because you're a student you're on the bread line. If the guy knows that you're not a student but still gives you a meal then what's the harm. The money you donate will just be used for another of the charities projects.
  • As an ex Hare Krishna from the north I can tell you the following -

    The food is prasadam which means that it has been offered to and blessed by God. Anybody who eats this food supposedly gets good karma, and has a better chance of becoming one of them. That is the entire purpose for food distribution, and why you find it in universities and main high streets rather than starving kids in Africa, they don't have the cash to buy the books ( massive pressure to stand on the streets and sell sell sell all day long, 12 hours plus )

    Our food came from market stall throw aways which was full of mold, I then spent my entire day shaving off to cook.

    Your donations are going towards the production of more books, the upkeep of the temples ( ours contained 12 cars, 3 motor homes, 50 + guitars, music studio etc ) and the upkeep of "gurus" big pope lie important guys who travel first class planes everywhere ot preach and own electric toothbrushes and other niceties while you live off moldy old veg.

    Take it for free mate.
  • geordie_joegeordie_joe Forumite
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    jillmarie wrote: »
    Just because you go to work it doesn't mean that you have bags of money

    No but think about it for a minute. If he had taken a packed lunch to work he would not have needed the free one. So obviously he took money and was planning to buy lunch while at work. Maybe he doesn't have bags of money, but he does have enough to buy his lunch.

    Apart from that, I doubt the supermarket that donated the food said to the Hare Krishna people "Here's some left over food, go and give it to people who have jobs and enough money to buy their own food".
  • Nada666Nada666 Forumite
    5K Posts
    No but think about it for a minute. If he had taken a packed lunch to work he would not have needed the free one. So obviously he took money and was planning to buy lunch while at work. Maybe he doesn't have bags of money, but he does have enough to buy his lunch.

    Apart from that, I doubt the supermarket that donated the food said to the Hare Krishna people "Here's some left over food, go and give it to people who have jobs and enough money to buy their own food".
    Since when is a packed lunch cheaper than a bought lunch?

    How many people putting cans in FareShare baskets think most of the recipients still receive one hundred percent of their child benefits and child credits and one hundred percent of their council tax and housing allowances and have only been docked about £20 a week of their hundreds of pounds a week benefits?
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