Should we stop giving food to homeless people?

People in Cheltenham are being advised not to give food to homeless people on the street.

This follows a movement in Birmingham by a street intervention team who claim that those sleeping rough are not struggling for food, and that it is unnecessary for passers-by to give them sandwiches and coffee.

A charity in Gloucestershire said that this also applies to Cheltenham.

“They wouldn’t necessarily need to be given any food,” said a representative of the Salvation Army. “It’s more about giving them the information that they need.”

“It’s really about educating the public, because there are lots of places in Cheltenham that you can get a free meal, and they can always come to us.”

Credit: Benjamin Brock, licensed under CC

However, some members of the public don’t agree with the message.

“I don’t think I would go out and buy food for homeless people but I don’t think people should be told not to,” said Ellie McCarfrey, who lives in Cheltenham. “I think that’s terrible.”

“I don’t understand why they’re telling people that,” said Parishi Pabai, who also lives in the town. “People might find it hard to approach the shelters or not know where to go, so I think we should definitely make an effort to help them and give them food.”

There are currently 11 registered homeless people in Cheltenham, but there could be many more who are not registered.

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