People in New York are unhappy about the Red Cross dropping off a garbage bag full of warm, broken hamburgers, apparently as part of their relief effort following Hurricane Sandy.
Besides the fact that the food was of questionable quality and cleanliness, it was not needed — “we already have hot food, why are they just arbitrarily dropping off hot food?” It was also donated to a small volunteer-run organisation in an inconvenient way and at a bad time — “I would have rather them contacted us to say, ‘We want to donate food, what is the best way to do that?’”
Another article points out that the “real heroes of Sandy have been the much smaller-scale organizations, often built on an ad hoc basis,” and characterizes the Red Cross as “a rag-tag band of well-intentioned volunteers worrying about what they were authorized to spend, and a fleet of trucks located in unhelpful places up and down the Eastern seaboard.”
In other words, the Red Cross is being accused of giving away inappropriate goods and in a way that’s not helpful, not coordinating properly with local people and organisations, and deploying inexperienced volunteers to a disaster zone. Why does this all sound so familiar?