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< Back to question Should you give money to beggars? Show more Show less

For people fortunate enough to have extra money in their pockets, giving it away can be fraught with stress. The decision to give or not to give money to homeless people has real-world consequences. This question is not concerned with the legality of giving money, but rather with the moral and ethical dilemma that goes along with it.

Give food instead of money. Show more Show less

They can't do anything bad with food.
< (6 of 6)

Food is a basic necessity

Everyone needs to eat. Giving food to a homeless person eliminates the step of them needing to buy it themselves and they can save their money for something else.
< (1 of 2) Next argument >

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Proponents


Context

Many homeless people eat fewer meals a day and lack proper nutrition.[1] Yet it is difficult for them to receive food stamps without a stable address, and even food pantries and kitchens cannot provide three nutritious meals a day to every needy individual.[2]

The Argument

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs shows that physiological needs, including food and water, are humans' most basic needs.[3] Food is a basic necessity, and by giving food, you can ensure your donation can fulfill a beggar's need. Homeless people must use their energy to find food, so giving food to the homeless gives them more time and effort to improve other aspects of their lives.[2] Though you never know what a homeless person may do with cash or a gift card, you can be certain that a homeless person cannot misuse food on drugs or alcohol.[4] Furthermore, giving someone food guarantees that they do not need to buy a meal for themselves, allowing them to save cash for other necessities.[5] There is more than one way to help homeless people by giving food.[6] You can organize a food drive or organize ongoing donations to a specific group of homeless people in your area. You can collect leftover goods from bakeries and restaurants, making sure perfectly edible food does not go to waste.[7] You can also give and volunteer directly through an organization like Hashtag Lunchbag,[8] which prepares packed lunches for homeless people. If you have the means to enjoy food on a regular basis, you likely have the means to spare an extra meal for a homeless person.

Counter arguments

You don't know what that person is able to eat. The right to adequate food is codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which clarifies that it must satisfy dietary needs and be culturally acceptable.[9] The meal that a passerby gives to a homeless person may not be adequate or culturally acceptable, whereas that person could have used donated cash to buy their own food.

Premises

[P1] Every person needs food to survive. [P2] Having food needs met allows homeless people to put energy to other needs, such as shelter or clothing.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1580272/
  2. https://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/foodsharing/intro.html
  3. https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
  4. https://www.parlia.com/a/GHrMPRGWHctlQgGJqCZKjZgbL/they-may-spend-it-on-drugs-alcohol-or-gambling
  5. https://www.overcominghomelessness.com/should-we-feed-the-homeless/
  6. https://www.pocketsense.com/feed-homeless-7672.html
  7. https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/reduce-wasted-food-feeding-hungry-people
  8. https://www.hashtaglunchbag.org/
  9. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/FactSheet34en.pdf

This page was last edited on Monday, 22 Jun 2020 at 04:13 UTC

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