Travel Tip of the Day: Give Food Instead of Money to Street Beggars

BeggarsGive Food Instead of Money to Street Beggars
Every time I see someone begging for money—around the corner from my house or in some far-off country—it tears me up on the inside. When I go out to eat and there are beggars nearby, I always ask for a doggie bag and some plastic utensils so I can give the food away. Other times, I’ll offer to buy a beggar food instead of giving him or her money. I’ll walk into a to-go restaurant, order what they want, pay, and leave. Apparently, many (though not all) use the money to buy alcohol and drugs, and pretty much every article I’ve read on the subject recommends giving food to people in need or giving money to a charity instead of giving money directly to beggars. Here’s a good article on the subject.



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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

4 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: Give Food Instead of Money to Street Beggars"

  1. We also do not give money to anyone. Sometimes we will offer to buy the person a meal and they tell us that they don’t want a meal, only money. In this case, they get nothing. No one should go hungry. When we travel by car, we often bring a ziploc bag with food items contained within, such as spaghetti and meatballs, fruit cans. Any food item that has a flip top where you don’t need a can opener. We also include napkins, utensils, a religious tract and sometimes depending on the weather, it will also include handwarmers.

  2. For those who din’t know, Boots Pharmacies and Marks & Spenser have great fresh food sections with sandwiches, fruit, salads, etc. If you go early morning, yesterday’s selection is on sale (usually 50% off). I stock up for long bus rides or train trips.
    A few years ago I was in London, England looking for sandwiches etc. when a young guy cleared the section. He then cleared out the “soon to expire” milk and juice. Once he paid for them ,he packed them in lunch bags and left the store. Being nosey, I followed him. He stopped at every homeless person and handed them a meal. No disrespect, no lecture, just a healthy meal. I later learned that he was just a local office worker who wanted to make a difference.

  3. Kevin Stanton | May 2, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Reply

    There is a station for the public light rail train a short walk from where I live. Occasionally on my walk to the station there is a ‘beggar’ panhandling at the highway exit light. Typically, the leech holding a piece of ‘message’ cardboard is in his or her 20’s and not disabled. What’s really troublesome is some panhandlers will constantly push the crosswalk button to control traffic, which screw with the street traffic flow.

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