It really works!
There is an option to designate your offer or request as "fulfilled," which turns it a pleasant purple shade, and for the most part, the comment sections are littered with information and updates about each case. Sometimes, recipients will post notes of gratitude. Here are even more examples:
[THANKS] Thank you so much for helping things feel normal with your kindness and generosity.
...With what has [sic] delivered has done my family a lot of good and things have been able to feel normal for my kids in our household.
[Thanks] to /u/Hegulator for the food!
The soup and salmon and mayo have arrived safe and sound. Greatly appreciated!
People are connected without any middlemen
All the interactions (unless both parties agree otherwise) occur directly through Reddit.
And it's totally not a scam
Trust me, I was skeptical, too. But to combat would-be culinary con artists, the subreddit has some guidelines:
- Users need to be active Redditors, who have had their account for at least three months. This means you can't just make an account and request food immediately after.
- Users must have a verified, outside email address
- Users must include their ZIP code
- It's specifically outlined that help is provided on a purely short-term basis, and not a long-term solution. Meaning this is just temporary relief, and not an ongoing system of support.
- They clearly monitor suspected offenders, as evidenced by their banned ZIP code page. In addition, the subreddit is designed to connect those in need, directly with people who can help. Meaning you aren't sending food or supplies blindly to an organization.
This is a legitimate tool to help those in need
It's important to remember how the Internet, and widely used, community-based platforms like Reddit, can be used to make a real difference in people's lives. You might be cynical, and believe these people are abusing the system, but you can't ignore the safeguards the community has developed. We use the Internet to find roommates, buy cars/homes, and even find agricultural soulmates -- why not more base needs, like food, too?