On Twitter over the weekend, someone tweeted a statement opining that people who donate to Occupy Wall Street but have never donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter are hypocrites.
Yes, Twitter is the place where people spout all sorts of opinions. I should have just ignored it, but I replied that I found it hard to believe anyone in the US might not have donated to a food pantry at some point in time.
The person replied that yes, there are people who have never donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter, either money or goods.
Why do I not believe this? Food donation is dear to my heart, and if you read The Boys Upstairs, you saw it there as well, but it’s not just my skewed perspective. Food pantry donations are ingrained in our society right now. My children’s old school had a yearly Mitten Drive for the kindergarteners to bring mittens for children in homeless shelters. My children’s new school has food drives twice a year for the Angelborough Food Pantry.
Libraries in both Angelborough and Angeltown accepted food donations in lieu of library fines, and because they didn’t tally up the food donation amounts, you could in theory walk in the door with an armload of books overdue by eighteen months and hand them a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle. Even someone who didn’t believe in giving to charity would probably rummage in their closet for that.
You’ll note both those institutions are public: the libraries and the schools aren’t encouraging you to donate food because Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Muhammad said all the cool people are doing it. They’re encouraging it because it’s a practical need that every person has. But anyone affiliated with a religious institution is probably given opportunities to donate to the hungry and the homeless through them as well.
Call me naive if you want, but because it’s so pervasive, I can’t see anyone not having donated at least once to a shelter or a food pantry unless they made a conscious decision never to do so. But then again, those people also wouldn’t have donated to Occupy Wall Street.
So let’s here it: tell me I’m wrong, because you guys are good at pointing out when I’ve been boneheaded. Excluding people who are under eighteen, people whose finances don’t permit donations, and anyone with a developmental disability (although I know people in all three categories who do donate), do you know an actual person (but no names please) who has never donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter?