Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco is a uniquely generous and inclusive institution that has hosted food giveaways for the needy for many years now. In addition to their daily free meal program in the Tenderloin (three times a day, an average of almost 2,200 meals daily) and special Thanksgiving and Christmas meal services, they do an annual handout of bags of assorted groceries in mid-December to help the hungry during the holidays, giving away as many as 6,000 bags in recent years. But another part of that annual tradition is a group of industrious and unscrupulous women who go through the line as many times as they can, collecting as many grocery items as they can carry, and then selling them out on the street you may recognize some who will lay out random generic food items for sale near Civic Center.
KRON 4's Stanley Roberts did a People Behaving Badly segment about these women during Glide's food giveaway in 2013, noting how many of them will dump unwanted canned items (probably because they're heaviest) around the corner so they can get back in line now there's a team of volunteers assigned to collecting all the discarded, perfectly edible food around the neighborhood and bringing it back to Glide to be given to someone else. This year, Roberts is back on the scene in the above video, shaming these ladies, who are mostly of Asian descent, noting how some will drop food in the street during their Supermarket Sweep-style rush to pilfer as much as they can.
Are they breaking any laws? Not really, except for the street-vending without a permit. And you'll see them out near U.N. Plaza and elsewhere throughout the year whenever food giveaways for the elderly occur from other city food pantries Mission Local called them out back in 2011. And sure, they're just underprivileged people themselves exploiting a system for their own modest gain, or to pay their own rent and San Francisco is uniquely rich with such giveaways. But yes, they're taking food out of someone else's mouth who's not going to pay them for it.
Point being this is not just a holiday-season phenomenon, but Stanley Roberts is circling back to report on it again, in case you missed it before.