Waste food and the homeless

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1094
Topics: Food, Food Waste, GMO, Helping Others, Homelessness


A myriad of homeless people is getting to the streets with the intention of getting handouts from well wishers. This perception of benevolence has led to over flow of people to streets even those who can still work hard economically and earn a living. Eugene, Oregon, like any other city in U.S, is still experiencing a significant number of homeless despite the effort put by its leaders to forestall issues of homeless. Many organizations, churches, and well wishers are providing waste foods collected from restaurants, homes, and bakeries as a way of eradicating hunger in the streets of Eugene, (Schneider, 2013). We are obliged to help the needy. However, it is worth noting that out of the act we implore people to become homeless. The question posed is whether these homeless deserve waste foods. My hunch is that these homeless people need something else other than waste food as elaborated in the paper.


The issue of responsibility has barred many fast food vendors from giving their left over to the homeless with the perception that they are spoilt. Most of these foods are perishable and the fact that it might take long for one to get to the homeless, it is evident that the food gets spoilt hence not fit for human consumption.  In a case of a disease outbreak such as cholera, the person who distributed the food will be held responsible. Laws surrounding health have been enacted, and therefore no one would wish to go against the law. In fact, some of these foods get mixed up and being that the body of some people reacts to some foods or spices used in making them can cause health issues. It is important to note this point as on rare occasions do these donors enquire from the homeless if they are allergic to some foods before giving out the handouts. Because of this, am against giving waste food to the homeless.


There are so many waste foods in stores waiting to be picked up by food banks or organizations such as Feeding America. However, lack of capacity to transport these perishable foods to the homeless has remained a big problem with most of the vendors have no idea on donating their left over foods. Instead of wasting much money or resources in transporting these perishable foods, they can be diverted to other things such as building houses and involving homeless to activities that can earn them a living, (Snow, & Anderson, 1987). For example in Utah, many apartments are given out to the homeless which has resulted in less influx of street people due to the service. Therefore, converting the resources used in transporting these foods to building houses can act as a solution to the homeless.


It is explicit that the citizens of Eugene are paying taxes to the government and therefore, helping the homeless is one of the projects the government should fuel this money to. Imperatively, some of these people before becoming victims of homeless were either working or involved in business and were paying taxes. And out of natural disasters or uncontrolled circumstances, they are now in streets. The government should, therefore, revert by providing food to the homeless and shelters as one way of improving the economy of the nation. (Tsemberis, Gulcur, Nakae, 2004). Some of the profound effects of neglecting these homeless by the government are that most of them can get involved in robbery or unlawful acts thus posing the economy of the nation at risk. A casing point is that the government has the obligation of ensuring that its citizens are well taken care of through provision of enough food and proper shelters without status discrimination instead of allowing people to distribute unhealthy food in streets.

Status Quo

Endless support directed towards the homeless does no good to them as they will consider remaining homeless and be fed by organizations. Some people have never tasted certain types of foods such as pizza, and being that they are homeless and unable to afford such foods, it is evident that they will rather die homeless and eat delicacies than making a living. Feeding them with breakfast, lunch, and dinner will just enable the cycle of homelessness. It is better if one is shown how to fish other than giving them fish. These organizations can create jobs for the homeless just to help them change their status quo from homeless to working citizens. Waste foods can and will never be a solution to the homeless. Consequently, no nation or city would like to have homeless citizens as this status quo can ruin the reputation of the leaders. It is upon those in the leadership of Eugene city to roll up their sleeves and help feed the homeless with healthy foods rather than the waste food they get from well wishers. There are enough resources in Eugene that can help shape the city rather than leaving it unsafe, dirty and dangerous.


Currently, some countries are passing the law which is used to prevent those who are seriously ill from suffering longer termed as euthanasia. Being that some of the homeless are mentally ill or physically challenged, one can take advantage of hand out and poison these helpless and homeless people as a way of eradicating them from the society, (Rachels, 1975). Because of these, the issue of giving poor especially the mentally ill waste food should be limited and if possible do away with in case of euthanasia. It is out of this that I mostly disagree with feeding homeless with waste foods. Not all wants the best for others.


Despite the fact, people are trying to portray sympathy to the helpless it should be viewed from various perspectives.  Waste food can never be a solution or ways to helping the homeless do away with hunger, (Schneider, 2013). The homeless from Eugene have leaders and government that can take care of them by giving them safe and processed food and not perishable, the waste food they get from good wishes. These foods are unhealthy and can expose them to various diseases. They also need to get out of their status quo, and therefore benevolence services are not the solution. Waste food can be used as a strategy of euthanasia and therefore if possible should never be encouraged. Out of the stated reasons it is worth concluding that waste food should never be given to the homeless in Eugene.

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  1. Rachels, J. (1975). Active and passive euthanasia. Bioethics: An Introduction to the History, Methods, and Practice, 77-82.
  2. Schneider, F. (2013). The evolution of food donation with respect to waste prevention. Waste Management, 33(3), 755-763.
  3. Snow, D. A., & Anderson, L. (1987). Identity work among the homeless: The verbal construction and avowal of personal identities. american Journal of Sociology, 92(6), 1336-1371.
  4. Tsemberis, S., Gulcur, L., & Nakae, M. (2004). Housing first, consumer choice, and harm reduction for homeless individuals with a dual diagnosis. American journal of public health, 94(4), 651-656.
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