In Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist is a victim of slow starvation. A homeless rescue, he is given only three small bowls of oatmeal per day, an onion twice a week and a roll on Sunday. One day, Oliver dares to ask “Please, sir, I want some more.” https://www.enotes.com/topics/oliver-twist/quotes/please-sir-want-some-more
Today at the shared meals in Bucks County, PA, some of the homeless and needy, who are well fed, between food stamps, food banks and other sources don’t ask “Please sir, I want more.” They scarf up seconds and sometimes thirds before others haven’t even been fed yet! Unlike Oliver Twist, they are not starving and some of them are getting fat. In some cases they bum rush the grub and pig out before others are fed. Some subscribe to the entitlement mentality and some have PMS (poor me syndrome).
The problem in some cases is that the hosts don’t monitor the meals. You would think that guests would be more mindful of others who are in the same situation they are in. Some hosts are very good about sharing in the shared meals. When the hosts served their guests at a shared meal I went to recently they unequivocally said there are no seconds. The meals are not only very tasty, but certainly enough to sustain the guests. Other hosts make sure everyone was fed before offering seconds and wait partway through the meals to offer seconds in the event some people come late (for legitimate reasons).
Gluttony, which is sometimes the case, just leads to problems and makes poor people complacent. It’s like feeding waterfowl bread. When birds are given welfare, they don’t want to fly south for the winter. They are unable to get themselves off the ground. Likewise, there are some who become chronic, professional homeless people. Some are trapped for decades. Besides PMS, the money wasted on cigarettes keeps the homeless and needy in poverty, not to mention more sickly and unproductive.
Some organizations want to keep the homeless in poverty. Like welfare, it keeps their programs funded. One in particular often doesn’t keep its website updated. On days there were actually shared meals, the site read there are no events today. Lately, they were up to date and read “no meal today.” They should be more diligent, but then they would have to come off their Ivory Tower and care and serve those struggling, rather than be self-serving.
One extreme example of fostering gluttony is a caseworker from Penndel Mental Health who brought a grossly overweight client (she weighed 300 pounds), junk food.
To help the homeless and needy, we need to give them a hand up to help them become productive members of society, and not hand-outs to keep them trapped.
I discuss these sorts of things in my book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA