Something inside my brain snapped when I saw my snap beans sitting outside in a bucket open to the rain. I had just picked these green beans with my own two hands not quite a week ago, placed them lovingly into a ziplock bag and brought it to the local business that was supposed to have been representing Forgotten Harvest, a group in Metro-Detroit that was organized in 1990, ironically enough to combat hunger and waste. It was not the first time that I had brought a donation from my own organic garden, but it was the first time that I happened to notice an impropriety in the way this local business was handling these donations of produce from the neighboring gardens.
I happened to stop by on a rainy day and noticed the donation bin, located outside, was left open to the elements. I walked over to close it and found that my bag of snap beans, along with a few other bags of produce, were just laying there in the rain-soaked bottom. I felt a flash of anger immediately, knowing that my produce was days old and should have been picked up immediately for distribution while it was still fresh or at the very least kept in a cool area and out of the 90° temperatures that we had been having. The fact that this company agreed to take these collections means that Forgotten Harvest should have had a daily pick-up schedule as long as there were donations to pick-up. This obviously did not happen. I thought about this wasted food that I could have blanched and frozen for a later meal that I would have appreciated and just how plainly under-appreciated my donation actually was.
I was in a dilemma for the reason that I have a temper at times and was very angry and disgusted at this point, due to there was absolutely no excuse for this to have happened. There were official signs up with the business that this was a drop off for local garden produce to Forgotten Harvest. Ironic that my harvest was truly forgotten. I knew there could be various scenarios for this slight. The people responsible for Forgotten Harvest may not have been advised that there was produce to pick-up or someone there did not pick-up as required. The people employed or in charge of that local business may not have cared or been diligent about contacting the organization to pick up this produce. Most people know that fresh produce cannot be left out in heat like that. Apparently no one working for the company, which I purposefully do not plan on naming, knew what they were doing or cared for the fact that the bin, that should have been closed at all times unless someone was putting something into it, was left wide open not only to the elements but to any animals that happened by to dine. I chose not to say anything that day, and I closed the lid. I knew I would go off on whoever I spoke to because all I would receive would be lame excuses for the reason it happened and what would it gain in the end? Maybe if I had spoken up in a professional manner, they would have been more diligent in the future, but we will never know.
This blatant disregard has forever colored the way I give to charities. Most of the time I now give to someone I personally know that needs something and I know they will get it in their hot little hands. I don’t want to see my hard-earned money or any of the few things I do own, go to someone who has no intention of getting it to where it belongs or does not care what happens to it. I have known for years that all non-profits pay salaries to the people who own it or work for it, unless they are doing strictly volunteer work. I do know that most things, like people, are not what they appear, unfortunately. I do know that only a small percentage of any donations need to actually go to the cause it is collected for legally. Some charities are very charitable, others are not. I have learned the hard way that just because you appreciate and care about something, does not mean that others feel the same, even those who claim to represent said causes.