Food Dropoff and Distribution

Posted: April 9, 2015 in Doing Good Works

This article is for any food service provider that ends up with leftover foods at night and would like to make sure it does not go to waste. I’d direct you to read the home page on this site and my about page in order to better understand what it is that I am doing.

I try to maintain consistency in my patterns so that people can more easily find me. I currently sleep out in front of the UW Bookstore on University Ave. I also try to spend a good deal of my time there during the day – sitting with my little sign that says ‘free meditation lessons’ and ‘ask me about enlightenment’.

If you have expired food from your daily rotations or leftover food from the day and you want to make sure that it doesn’t go to waste, you can drop it off with me and I’ll make sure that it really and truly gets to those who are in need. I will not hoard things, sell them, or throw them away – my focus is on helping.

When I’m available and awake I’ll gladly take what’s offered and then make the appropriate arrangements for distribution. If I’m sleeping feel free to leave the items around me but please don’t disturb me in the process – just accept my silent heartfelt thanks. If you cannot find me, you can leave the food on the front stoop of the UW bookstore where the little built in bench-like things juts out on the far right side, under the big fire alarm on the wall. Either I will find it or others will.

Because I am a homeless man myself I am not subject to any rules or regulations – but I do have a few requests:

• Healthy foods only please. I myself am a vegan, mostly a fruitarian trying to stretch every penny to buy fruits, vegetables and nuts that I share freely with those in need. The homeless are given far too much pizza, fast food leftovers, candy, and other garbage. Something is always better than nothing, but please think about the long-term care of our fellow human beings. Healthy food is a far greater gift than food in general is…

• Edible within 24 hours. Fruits and vegetables are often turned over on a daily basis. These are easy to distribute to people and can be a bit bruised, etc, but it should still be edible. Please don’t bring rotten items to me. If you are bringing expired prepared or prepackaged foods please make sure that they are still within 24 hours of being past the expiration date. If you bring me items that are two or more days past expiration I will toss them. If you are bringing leftovers please make sure they are being dropped off on the same day they were prepared and that the containers are fully sealed.

• Portable and light weight. If people do indeed start dropping off food items in larger and larger quantities, I’ll get help with doing morning distributions or giving food away to folks during the day. However, if you are offering up crates of things or heavier items (like liquids) I probably won’t be able to take them. It will really depend though… Heavy, bulky items will be harder to me to carry around on top of the pack I already keep with me. Just think about what you could carry in two hands and try not to bring more than that. I’ll make updates to this page if this request changes a bit.

If you’d like to be acknowledged as a supporter of the local homeless community I am more than happy to add you to the supporters section of this website. I would invite you to write your own note about your company, why you give generously, and how you would like to see others do the same. If you would prefer to be anonymous, for whatever reason, that’s fine to. Your generosity is all that really matters – and our collective gratitude for your generosity.

As for where the food goes – there is a large contingent of homeless people on the Ave. Many of them have drug and alcohol additions, social etiquette challenges, mental illnesses and more. They can indeed be a challenge to deal with sometimes – but we are all still human beings. Loving kindness for our fellow brothers and sisters is what will ultimately help set them free – showing them that the community – and those of us in the community – really and truly do care about them.

This is the path forward – a path of love, kindness, generosity, gratitude, and grace; with forgiveness as the mechanism by which we embrace one another. Will you tread this path with me?


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