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Extra, Extra: Sandwiches and Fish

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not miss.

Photo by {a href=""}Lyndsay Jobe{/a}, from the {a href=""}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

  • The owner of local spherical-meat emporium Hey Meatball is trying to launch a meal token program for Toronto’s homeless. People would buy the tokens, then give them to panhandlers, who would be able to trade them for sandwiches. Why not just donate to a shelter or food bank?
  • Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium has been under construction near the base of the CN Tower for quite some time, and, as UrbanToronto discovered when it visited the site, it’s really coming along. It’s supposed to open this summer.

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  • OgtheDim

    “Why not just donate to a shelter or food bank?” sounds a lot like “Are there no workhouses?”

    Choice – some homeless people don’t want to use a shelter or food bank.

    • SteveKupferman

      I don’t know that a token that can only be exchanged for a sandwich from one specific place really embodies “choice,” though, either.

      • OgtheDim

        Agreed. I don’t think we’ll see TImmies or Manchu Wok jumping in on this one though.

        Worth thinking through though, instead of a throw away patronisng Scrooge line that assumes the homeless are all the same.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      This proposal isn’t for the benefit of the homeless, it’s to assuage concerns that homeless people take what money they’re given and go buy drugs and alcohol with it, which no self-righteous pearl-clutcher wants to encourage.

      • Jaker

        That is a concern that more people should have though. Most case managers agree that giving money to the homeless actually will often be making their situation worse. Someone who is working on getting them housing, managing their finances, organizing support services, etc., would have an easier job if their client was more accepting of that help. If they can make $75 in a day panhandling then there is no incentive to look for alternatives.

        TL:DR; Put all your pocket change in a jar and give it to a good local charity once a year.

      • Wally

        It’s also a way to drum up business and sell to what would otherwise be a lost market. Typical “I’m just trying to help (…myself to a better bottom-line)” move.

      • mariapd

        I agree and, sadly, more than once I have seen panhandlers trying to sell the sandwich or food they were given by well-intentioned people or charities.