Food bank dump in the desert

Chris Thompson says:
Flickr user Troy Paiva of found an interesting spot in the California desert. This is from the picture's description:
200703231120 Joe and I woke late the next day and began exploring potential night-shooting locations near Helendale. We stumbled on an abandoned ranch just outside of town and immediately stopped to explore it. As soon as we opened the car door we were bowled over by the strong smell of organic decay. The place literally smelled like death.

Expecting to find a dead cow (or worse) we rounded a corner and came upon an unexpectedly appalling sight: Food, still in packages. By the case, and even pallet full. Just rotting in the hot desert sun. Tons of it. This forgotten corner of the desert appeared to be a dumping ground for expired donations for a SoCal foodbank. When we got close enough to take pictures the stench was overwhelming. We thought about shooting here at night, but after 15 minutes of walking around we were both nauseated beyond belief. Neither of us EVER want to go back.

I found it because I'm subscribed to a feed for the Infiltration pool. We can only wonder why someone thought this was a good idea. What a waste.


  1. I worked at a homeless shelter many years ago and we’d get really really bizarre donations. People would clean out grandma’s pantry and give us canned food that was expired and must be thrown away by us instead of them- I opened up spice canisters in beautiful 1970s packaging to find it filled with dead moths. ugh. then we’d get corporate donations like 500 10k race t-shirts or shirts advertising our local football team as NFC champs (when they weren’t) or other oddities. Do you know how many thanksgivings we just got every weird canned food item out of people’s pantries? fruit pie filling, but no flour, canned cabbage, canned asian vegetables (one time a cook who didn’t know better combined Chinese and Japanese canned vegetables and it tasted like an awful mix of hunan sauce and sushi/wasabe. Foodwise, we only rarely got corporate donations that were bad, but we ALWAYS, every week got weird donations- we got pallets and pallets of flavored soy milk from canada in unusable flavors like “Green Tea.” Homeless people WILL turn up their noses at food like that because they don’t know green tea. I sadly think that running these photos will bring out the numbnuts who think people running the shelters are getting rich (not remotely) or the corporations only do this for tax breaks (well, they might but who really cares if they get a break on 25% of the value of what they donate) or that somehow their involvement isn’t useful. As long as people donate traditional canned food it’s always used.

  2. Umm, geen tea at least these days is pretty well known. Homeless people, just like the average public can be educated in respect to exotic new flavors, c’mon! This reminds me of that Seinfield episode the one about homeless sehlters rejecting the Muffin bottoms because they werent the yummy part of a muffin. The problem is not the homeless or the poor accepting unusual food, its the willingness of charity workers to give up so easily instead of being more creative and assertive when dealing with this issues. Hey lets throw out this otherwise nutrtious and yummy soymilk just because we don’t want our desperate hobos complaining. Give me a break!

  3. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’ was invented by a grandmother, not an economist. Everyone is a chooser, and beggars are probably less choosy than we would be, if we changed places today.

    It’s a shame empathy and compassion can’t be reduced to a convenient aphorism: maybe we’d have fewer problems like this.

  4. Y flks r thrwng t sm prtty gnrlzd wrds lk md hr. thnk y fgs, n, kds r bng prtty pr-jdgmntl bt wh s th trgt f ths dntns. Hbs? Bggrs?

    Frthrmr, y yng sprts wth ll f yr pss nd vngr, mst lv sltd lvs. n f ths dys y t wll b slctd t dnt sm nsd fdstffs frm yr mgr pntry. DR y t gv p th gd stff nd kp th ld crsty cns fr yrslf. Y wnt d t. Y (w) r t slfsh.

    Tht s th pnt f pstr #1.

Comments are closed.