During my time as deacon, one thing we have really struggled with is how to answer cold calls (people we don't know). The existing practice was to give out grocery cards, but at the start of my term it became really clear that people were taking advantage of that practice.
We tried a number of different things, and in end we decided to ask for ID, and then offer them a bag of groceries. In the bag is a list of all the local resources for help (eg. local Food Bank, Salvation Army) and free lunches and dinners in the community. When we do have extra money in the diaconate we look for ways we can help existing local organizations like the local Food Bank or women’s shelter.
How does your church handle cold calls? Have you found anything that works well?