Faith or Food Bank?

We are probably all familiar with the testimony of George Muller--praying for food when they had none at the orphanage, setting the table for breakfast, and as they were asking the blessing (in faith), food was delivered. Do you think this could be a more common occurrence if the faith of God's people was greater? Should we not utilize things like food banks, but rather pray for God to provide? Does this mean there is a lack of faith if a Christian family finds themselves in great need and uses resources such as these (I am not talking about freeloaders or people who abuse it)? Do you think it is proper to look at things like this as God's means of provision (like seeking a physician's help as opposed to sitting in your living room and praying for healing)? I know some ministries (camps in particular) that obtain supplies from food banks. Thoughts?

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Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I think if the saints in Macedonia were commended for giving to the poor saints in Jerusalem, then food banks certainly would be consistent with the idea of providing for the poor, and it would not be a lack of faith for someone in need to accept that help. (Gal. 2:10) It begs the question- "How does God provide?" I think George Mueller was exceptional, but I don't think it wise to compare ourselves to him, because there is a Biblical mandate for us to take care of our own families, work for our food, and provide for others, even out of our poverty. God uses people to provide for the needs of others, so how could it be a lack of faith to accept that help?

There certainly is no reason to think that it is a lack of faith to seek a physician or go use the church's food pantry, but rather that we should ask God to provide guidance in fulfilling our needs, rather than going to Him as a last resort when we're desperate and have exhausted all worldly options.

Diane Heeney's picture

As always, good thoughts Susan. Perhaps one of the reasons Muller's example seems so extraordinary is because he regularly had this priorization in line...go to God first. Many Christians (In this realm and others) I think are more prone to exhaust all their known resources, and then see what God can do to take up the slack. I am suggesting not a comparison with Muller but a consideration of his example (perhaps this is one purpose for his minisry being brought to the forefront--to show folks what this "looks like")...after all, I guess essentially he received "food bank" goods, just delivered to his door. Smile

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Well, as humans we certainly do tend to go to one extreme or other. There are folks who literally don't do anything to help themselves because "God will provide"- like... He's going to send ravens with a loaf of Wonder Bread and some PB&J? Folks in Mueller's community obviously knew that his orphanage had needs, and he trusted that God would use them and that those folks would be obedient. I don't think it is all that mysterious, nor is it so different to set up a food bank and have folks come for help rather than having it delivered. But the other extreme is the self-sufficient group that worships the axiom "God helps those who help themselves" to the extent that they never "wait on the Lord" or seek guidance for how He might want to fulfill their need.

I don't ever discount God impressing on someone's heart to fill a need in an unexpected way- my husband once stopped at a garage sale on impulse, and lo and behold there sat a nearly new washing machine. We bought it to give to a young couple at our church because theirs was broken.

Diane Heeney's picture

I am processing this on a number of levels. First, we have had times when we were in need and have used a food bank, with some censure from other believers. I have prayed on the way there for specific needs I knew we had, and thanked the Lord out loud in the midst of the volunteers for how He specifically met them (food is given in random box fulls at our food bank--the workers choose the items--so to have specific needs met, and even particular preferences, is something of significance). I think what discourages some folks from seeing a food bank as a place for God's blessing is the stigma that can be attached to it, like it or not.

Then, the ladies at our church have more than once expressed interest in having a food bank kind of ministry. There is no spiritual outreach with the one in our small town, and there is no "rescue mission" or soup kitchen to help those who are struggling. The food bank has hours of operation each week day, but folks can only go one time per month, and they must have legal documentation to verify the members of each household. I understand the reason for this. But what of folks who have a need when the place is not open, or cannot for some reason "verify" their kids, or ran out of what was given on their once-a-month visit? I think this could be a neat ministry for a church if it is well thought-out (I do remember the thread at the old SI about soup kitchens, but it did not get specific enough, to my recollection--I can't go back and look at the article yet), especially with the economy the way it is. This will become a more prominent issue for churches.

Then, third, I have this question rolling around in my pea brain...since a church is a charitable organization, is it right for them to obtain food from food banks, or places like Panera (I know of a large church that picks up leftovers at Panera for church activities), even if they can afford to purchase it for their functions? Should a monetarily healthy church be taking from these resources when there are folks with great needs standing in the same line? As I said, I know of camps that use food banks, but they are run by missionaries on a half-a-shoestring budget. Is this just a matter of frugality, or something more significant? Should I just go take a nap? :bigsmile:

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

First, if a believer criticized my husband for using a food bank to feed his family, I would want to know "WHERE IN THE NAME OF JIMMY CRACK'D CORN WERE YOU?" I mean, if someone thinks food banks are a bad thing, then they'd better be ready with an alternative, or just shut their yap. That really frosts my taters. Quite frankly, it's a shame that folks go to gov't for what the church used to provide. I think Christians and religious groups are still a tremendous source of charity (look at all the hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable groups), but folks should never have to seek elsewhere (from family and church) to find sustenance or shelter. I think the Bible is pretty clear on that.

That being said, if a church has the means (refrigeration, storage, workers) then a food pantry is a great ministry. My dh and I have been involved in this kind of thing off and on for years, and it has always been a wonderful experience and has provided so many opportunities to show the community that the church cares about them and to create a connection that allows one's to witness effectively. I just talked to a guy the other day who stopped into our church hoping to catch our pastor before he left. He's been calling around to churches in the area looking for work- he's a certified flooring installer, but was laid off. He's willing to mow grass and do any kind of repair work that anyone has for him- but our church was the only one that actually called him back to set up a time to meet with him. What kind of testimony is that? I mean, it's good for us, but doesn't speak well to someone who hasn't been in church since he was young boy about how he is viewed by 'Christians'.

As for where churches obtain goods, I think if it is there, it's fair game. Just about any restaurant or grocery store in town will give away their excess and nearly expired food stuffs to anyone who asks for it. So... if no one else has asked, it isn't the church's fault, KWIM?

My husband often shows people how to recycle scrap metal to make extra money. Take a drive through a nice neighborhood early in the morning on trash day, and count how many air conditioners, washer, dryers, grills, lawn chairs... are sitting on the curb. Anything made of metal can be taken to the junkyard for $$$. Metal prices have been down lately, but just the catalytic converter on a junky car can be worth $60-70. Air conditioner coils are copper, and copper right now fetches http://www.metalprices.com/ over $2 per lb .

I said all that to say any time we find a way to provide for our families or help someone else, especially in a way that negates waste, (Jn 6:12) then I think that's dandy. And you can just tell Martha Crabbypants she better get herself down to the church to help out. Wink

Teri Ploski's picture

Susan R wrote:
First, if a believer criticized my husband for using a food bank to feed his family, I would want to know "WHERE IN THE NAME OF JIMMY CRACK'D CORN WERE YOU?" I mean, if someone thinks food banks are a bad thing, then they'd better be ready with an alternative, or just shut their yap. That really frosts my taters. Quite frankly, it's a shame that folks go to gov't for what the church used to provide. I think Christians and religious groups are still a tremendous source of charity (look at all the hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable groups), but folks should never have to seek elsewhere (from family and church) to find sustenance or shelter. I think the Bible is pretty clear on that.

Susan, I want to add an anecdote to this paragraph. When my ex left me, pretty much high and dry, I was rebuked by a woman at my church for filing the paperwork that would force him to provide support, and for putting my kids back in public school and looking for a job. She was "sure" that he would return and if I only had faith enough then God would provide. I looked her dead in the eyes and asked her "Then are you going to buy my groceries this week, since I have no money otherwise to buy groceries and gas for the next week or so until the legal paperwork is completed? Are you going to pay my electric and water bills?" She stammered around and walked away without another word. God did provide in many miraculous ways though - one of them was through a series of jobs that pretty much fell in my lap and allowed me to survive in one of the nation's most costly areas (Washington DC area). I was given a lot of support through the church, but had I not gotten a job, I doubt very seriously if they would have supported me and my 3 children indefinitely, or could have even if they had the desire to do so.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

It seems that some folks have enough faith for other people's problems, (especially when it involves a broken home), but just wait until they are in a jam. While it is true that trusting and waiting on God are essential, this does not preclude taking sensible actions to provide for oneself. Like I said- would anyone advise you to sit at home and wait for the ravens to provide? No- you get a job and go to the grocery store. If someone has a 'conviction' against using food banks, then they need to have a Biblical alternative solution, or it's just talking to hear their head roar.

Diane Heeney's picture

Teri, welcome to our little "Tea for Two".

I'm afraid there are a lot of folks who excel in "be ye warmed and filled"...but this should not characterize genuine saints, I agree. I really do believe we are coming into a time when the proof will be in the pudding (whether it came from the food bank or not Wink ). Tough times will weed out the weeds.

Our care for others is part of what makes us "peculiar"...even yesterday we shared a box of food with our neighbors, who have been struggling. The wife is wiccan and the husband is a disenchanted Mormon. Their daughter plays with our kids, but has been forbidden to come to church with us; but in recent months they've been allowing her periodically to come to kids activities with along with us. My daughter shared the gospel with her during a sleepover this week, and she made a profession of faith! Who knows how God can use random acts of kindness?

And as far as believers toward believers, I just can't help but think that satan and his minions find great delight when believers dogpile their own. What is it that gives Christians such a voracious appetite for squashed, sliced, diced and otherwise pummeled brethren? (Sadly, I think I know). Sad

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Becky Petersen's picture

Diane Heeney wrote:
Teri, welcome to our little "Tea for Two".

Can I join too?

First of all, I didn't know that individuals could just go to a food bank to buy things. I thought only organizations could go. I know that when I worked for a children's home in the Greenville area I sometimes prayed that they would have diapers because a bag of diapers only cost about 85cents years ago when we were paying by the pound. (BiLo brand).

I'm not sure why using a food bank by a camp or Christian organization is misuse. Why would it be? It seems if they can save money on groceries, they have more to put into materials and/or other things that are necessary. Why should Christians be saddled with "regular retail prices" while the nonChristian or nonfundamental organizations use the cheaper stuff--many times they are the same items. It is frustrating to me to think that some think so. It is also why sometimes it "feels like" God is broke, when we all know He isn't--if we've had to buy things at regular price and others get it donated, then it takes more money for us just to exist--long before any ministry can actually take place.

The stuff has been donated. Most of the food bank stuff in Greenville, when I shopped there for our girls, was donated by BiLo. It was scratch-and-dent stuff. I suppose they had some USDA stuff, but we didn't seem to see much of it. There is more available now, I understand, like peanut butter, etc.

If a church has a food bank ministry, wouldn't they stock it with food bank stuff that they've purchased? Unless you have a private "in" with a grocery store, I doubt you could afford to stock it at regular prices. People who play the "Drugstore game" wtih CVS could keep it stocked in h/b aids for almost no cost, but grocery items...that's a different matter. A really smart shopper with access to tons of free coupons can do marvelous things, but time is of essence.

The reason many ministries don't do the food bank thing is because there are so few people who really "try on their own" who will use it. You appeal to the freeloaders. You can't convince me that a 350 lb. woman is starving. If she were "hungry", it'd be a good thing and maybe help her lose a bit of weight. (I saw this with my own eyes...sob stories about having no food by these people...very few actually 'hungry' people...) I've seen hungry people. The truly poor are thin. These are the ones who miss meals regularly because they just don't have the money to buy bread. (Or else they'd rather have cigarettes--)

My brother-in-law tried it for a while in his church. They would have food that they gave people. They bought it at the local food bank and would store it in their garage. The only they asked was that people would come to one service of the church to come and get it. You'd think that they asked for something hard. They got asked "to deliver", "I'll take 2 bags of groceries please", etc. One time the pastor was transporting a lady to church who had no way to get to church in order to get her food and she told him, as they passed Walmart on their way to church to pick up her free groceries, "I have a swimming pool on layaway here." Needless to say, he wondered why in the world he took the time and energy and gas money and then money out of pocket (because they bought the groceries themselves since not all the deacons were for the idea) for this woman. They did it for a while, but didn't find that they were reaching the people that they had thought they could help. Most of the people were professional freeloaders that made the rounds of the churches who help people.

It sounds heartless. I know my sister and hubby are not heartless. Far from it. But they see no need to enable freeloaders.

Jay's picture

I think that the ladies here are hitting on good points. One of the things that I appreciate so much about our current church is that we keep a closet downstairs with food for whomever is in need. If someone in the church is aware of a person in need, they tell the leadership [deacons/elders/deaconesses ] who then make sure that the family in need receives that food, or [as is usually the case ] they go directly to the family while they're at church, remind them of the pantry and tell them to take whatever they need. We also maintain a deacon's fund for pressing financial needs. AFAIK, all the food we have is donated by members, although I'm sure the Pastor has bought some when it goes on sale. We can't keep perishables on hand, but we have plenty of boxed and canned items...we even have some special foods for those who are allergic to gluten or soy or whatever.

When my wife and I first attended, we were hurting for cash, and someone found out that we'd had something like 5.00 in our checking account that week [I got paid the coming Friday, so it wasn't like we were in a huge amount of trouble ]. My wife and I were both approached individually within ten days, informed of the pantry, and told that if we needed anything [or all of it ] to go ahead and take it. That was a huge blessing to us, not because we needed the food, but because we knew that the church was serious about Christian living and practice [we'd already checked out the doctrinal statement and budget on our first visit Wink ].

On the flip side, someone in the church came to my wife last week and was talking about how broke they were and how they needed to buy food. My wife said something to me, and we were going to get them a giftcard to the local grocery store. On a sudden impulse from the Spirit, Julie decided to check with the deaconess who said that that was a constant with them but they continually refused the food that the church has offered in the past [including a pot roast! ], so we decided against giving them money when we couldn't be positive that it would be used for what they claimed they needed. I think that if there was a family in the church with pressing bills, we would ask for a copy of the bill and pay it ourselves rather than just indiscriminately handing out cash and praying that we aren't being snookered.

It's been my experience that people who are truly in need aren't afraid to admit what exactly they need help with. It's the people who keep asking for cash that want it for whatever their new desire is.

Germane Scriptures - James 2, Matthew 22:34-40, John 3:1-4. I also find it interesting that Jesus had pity on the multitudes and fed them "lest they faint on the way".

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Becky Petersen's picture

Jay,

It sounds like your church seemed to be doing it right. What did they do about people just calling from the community? Actually, we do the thing about asking for the bill and just paying it directly if it is necessary. We don't give money.

Diane Heeney's picture

Great input Becky (of course you can join the tea party! Smile ) and Bro Jay (you can too, if you remember to hold up your pinkie :bigsmile: ).

I appreciated the scriptures, and it made me think of something. In providing for others, it is so easy to give what we have left over (or worse, for some others---to do the used tea bag/missionary barrel thing)...but what does loving others as we love ourselves look like here? While it is sometimes true that "one man's trash is another man's treasure," in John 3 we see Jesus supplying the most excellent quality. IOW, we can give cans of shitake mushroom and mango chutney (or some other bizarre thing that has gathered dust in the back of our cupboard), or we can provide what is useful and a comfort. I have been so blessed to be given boxes of cereal, makings for spaghetti, mac and cheese, milk, juice, bread and frozen meat...things I can actually use to feed my family, rather than stuff that will only be relegated to the back of my own cupboard). Normal toiletries and paper goods are wonderful as well as soap/cleaning products.

I would be interested in more guidelines from someone who has done this...because, as has been mentioned, there are those who would take advantage. Absolutely, I think a "no cash" rule is wise. We have offered to take someone out for a meal, or to accompany them to fill their fuel tank or pick up groceries. What if you have a family that has a more long-standing and genuine need for help? Do you ever put a "cap" on access to the closet (say, if word got around and you began to get "regulars"...do you say, we can help once a month/week...do you require ID of some sort to verify that things are legit...how far do you carry this in order to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves)? How do you gather a list of resources that can not only meet the current need but also help to provide a solution to it?

These types of needs are becoming more and more prevalent it seems. And, I can't remember the stats, but I saw one time an estimate of how long the typical family could survive if they were put in an unemployment situation with no source of income. It was not very long. There are numbers of folks like you and me who have found themselves in great need because of extreme and sudden circumstances or severe financial reversal. It's time for us to strap on those sandals and walk in 'em a bit. What would that be like? What kind of help would encourage me?

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

Cindy's picture

I was on the staff at a large church for seven years. The policy for getting food from our closet (for non members) required them to fill out a form (it asked for their name, address, size of family, if they were working, if they went to church, etc.). We kept the forms on file and checked them whenever someone came for food. Like it or not, there are professional beggars who go from church to church. The other requirement was that they had to meet with one of the pastors. We had a large enough church that there was always at least one pastor on site. That way the gospel could be presented and some practical advice could be given to help the people. We also did not let them pick out from the closet. We went and filled bags for them while they talked with the Pastor. More than once I helped carry bags out to their car only to see 5 or 6 other bags of groceries in the trunk from the other churches thay had been to.

We never gave out cash. We also never paid their bills. We refered them to community agencies. For church members or attenders, we would pay the bill, but again no cash. The system seems to work well after years of experience.

Becky Petersen's picture

Larger churches have the ability to have the pastor interview, while someone else fills up the bags in the food pantry, and then helping take it to the car. But, if you are just and individual or a smallish church, you won't have a multiplicity of workers and so have to make some decisions about it yourself.

People do not always need food. Sometimes food, with food stamps, is the last thing they need. They may need a bill paid or medicine purchased.

But how to keep out the scammers and professional bummers? I think we all want to help those who truly need it and are trying on their own. We also feel uncomfortable funding someone's bills when they have a big HD LCD tv running cable on their wall, and yet their electricity bill unpaid.

(I say this from experience.)

At the same time, children suffer for parents' poor money skills and dumb priorities. We do truly need wisdom from on high.

I'm curious how other churches handle the "limit". When you can't help out anymore, due to either the end of your own resources or because you believe they need to learn to live within their means, do they quit coming to church (if they came)?

That's what we've experienced.

Most people we help here in Poland are ONLY coming because of the help. When we can't help anymore, then they quit coming. It would be great to have a system in place--esp. if we were bigger. In fact, our organization has the ability to get EU aid and distribute the goods that they distribute. I'm going to see it in action tonight when I help a lady get some things from another group. I'm curious how it works, as it is similar to USDA stuff. But since this is mostly a "one family" operation (us), I have to be careful that I don' t overextend myself since I've still got some kids at home although my youngest is growing up. I figure once my youngest is about 15, I should be able to do more of this kind of thing. If we start doing it, I've no doubt that I'll be the one who has to file the paperwork with the government, get the stuff, distribute it, regulate it, etc. It will be a one-person thing and probably be quite all encompassing. I'm having to see if I think it worthwhile.

Jay's picture

Diane Heeney wrote:
...and Bro Jay (you can too, if you remember to hold up your pinkie :bigsmile: ).

I appreciated the scriptures, and it made me think of something. In providing for others, it is so easy to give what we have left over (or worse, for some others---to do the used tea bag/missionary barrel thing)...but what does loving others as we love ourselves look like here? While it is sometimes true that "one man's trash is another man's treasure," in John 3 we see Jesus supplying the most excellent quality. IOW, we can give cans of shitake mushroom and mango chutney (or some other bizarre thing that has gathered dust in the back of our cupboard), or we can provide what is useful and a comfort. I have been so blessed to be given boxes of cereal, makings for spaghetti, mac and cheese, milk, juice, bread and frozen meat...things I can actually use to feed my family, rather than stuff that will only be relegated to the back of my own cupboard). Normal toiletries and paper goods are wonderful as well as soap/cleaning products.

I would be interested in more guidelines from someone who has done this...because, as has been mentioned, there are those who would take advantage. Absolutely, I think a "no cash" rule is wise. We have offered to take someone out for a meal, or to accompany them to fill their fuel tank or pick up groceries. What if you have a family that has a more long-standing and genuine need for help? Do you ever put a "cap" on access to the closet (say, if word got around and you began to get "regulars"...do you say, we can help once a month/week...do you require ID of some sort to verify that things are legit...how far do you carry this in order to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves)? How do you gather a list of resources that can not only meet the current need but also help to provide a solution to it?

These types of needs are becoming more and more prevalent it seems. And, I can't remember the stats, but I saw one time an estimate of how long the typical family could survive if they were put in an unemployment situation with no source of income. It was not very long. There are numbers of folks like you and me who have found themselves in great need because of extreme and sudden circumstances or severe financial reversal. It's time for us to strap on those sandals and walk in 'em a bit. What would that be like? What kind of help would encourage me?


I'm typing this with nine fingers [trying to keep that pinkie up Wink ], but as far as I know, we've never run into this kind of problem [w/ freeloaders ]...Pastor *has* told me that people showed up at his door asking for food but refused it when they found out it was coming from the church pantry and not their own. There are a few members that have been out of work for health conditions, and there have been people who lost their job, and there are people who have needed help from the community, but I don't think we've ever actually had to say "No, you can't have any more", and I'm not sure that doing so would be wise. Paul went without in order to maintain his reputation/testimony to the people of either Thessalonica or Corinth, so I think we have Scriptural precedent there. Neither do we require that people register or attend church once in order to receive aid. As I said before, there are apparently some [in the church ] that have told many people in my church that they need food, but yet they won't avail themselves to the resources in the church building, which kind of makes it difficult to believe. I mean, I'm all for eating healthy, but if I don't have any food at all in the cupboard, then I'm going to take whatever I can get my hands on, KWIM? You aren't healthy if you're dead from starvation.

I need to talk with my pastor some more about this...I don't know all of the specifics and how it's worked out all the time.

Yes, I do think there's been a definite uptick in people who need help, which is why it behooves us as Christians to minister in more than "spiritual" ways. Prayer and Bible study are good, but they need to be complemented with physical ministry as well.

--edit--

Becky, I think that the dynamic of your outreach in Poland is going to be considerably different from the dynamic here in the States, and I'm not sure that I'd be overly offended if people stopped coming when the handouts ended - that says more about their hearts and motives. I learned a long time ago that some people don't want help - they just want you to take care of them, like 40 year old toddlers or something. Keep ministering as long as you are able, but don't feel like you have to bail everyone out all the time - that's not what you are in Poland to do.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Diane Heeney's picture

Jay C As I said before, there are apparently some [in the church wrote:
that have told many people in my church that they need food, but yet they won't avail themselves to the resources in the church building, which kind of makes it difficult to believe. I mean, I'm all for eating healthy, but if I don't have any food at all in the cupboard, then I'm going to take whatever I can get my hands on, KWIM? You aren't healthy if you're dead from starvation.

Thanks for the insight, Bro Jay--and I'm duly impressed that you can type all of that with nine fingers and no typos! Wink

With regard to this quoted idea, let me clarify that my meaning was more with regard to the givers, not those who patronize the food bank. Just to encourage them to perhaps imagine (or even pray!) about what would be the most practical things to provide (one time I was so happy to see toilet paper available!) instead of just grabbing the dregs from their pantries. I agree with you that hungry folks will be grateful for any help, regardless of preferences. I've gotten creative with some rather unusual provisions...it's kinda fun!

I suggested to our ladies that perhaps we could have folks bring donations for the food closet on the Sundays when we have a pot luck (carry-in, covered dish...if you are opposed to the other term Smile ), which is every fourth Sunday. They are already thinking about bringing food, so that could serve as a built-in reminder. I think it is meaningful for everyone to be engaged in this by contributing, not just one person getting stuff from a food bank. That way it really is a church ministry. And, I would think if a meeting with the Pastor or attending a devotional service or something was not done, then perhaps a tract written to target these folks could be written. I know that sounds weird, but something you said struck a chord with me. Bro Jay, you mentioned that folks don't want help. I think that is an excellent jump-off point for a tract. We don't want help. We are full of ourselves and our pride gets in the way, but this is the very heart need that has to be addressed. I do think it would be good to get names and addresses and just tell folks "We'll stop by in a few weeks and see how you are doing" or something. That way it provides an opportunity for spiritual follow-up as well as an opportunity to scope out the place and see if it is a genuinely needy situation. KWIM?

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com