Whoa, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I don’t think anyone’s going to ‘starve’ because someone beat them to a dumpster - especially not when I never seen anyone diving in my 22 years of living here. In fact, a lot of the dumpsters I’ve seen are overflowing, despite stencilled warnings against overfilling them for health reasons. Given the ethics and reasoning behind dumpster diving, I don’t think it would be so encouraged if it was likely to result in ‘taking from people who need it more’, i.e. if supply didn’t exceed demand in most places. I think common sense certainly comes into play here. Although I haven’t personally checked out local dumpsters, the couchsurfers I met always seemed to come back with plenty of decent stuff (still in packaging, still fridge temperature, etc), so I’m under the impression that there isn’t any shortage of stuff to find here.
Hmmm, I’m inclined to disagree. Are you a local dumpster diver? I’d be interested to hear what it’s like in Darwin. The blog post I linked to (which was Australia-specific) explained that there was so much stuff to be found that divers usually leave a lot of it behind. It also described most divers as middle-class citizens who can afford to buy the stuff they find, but choose not to because they don’t want to support excessive consumerism. It pointed out that the homeless “prefer to go to soup kitchens … and are comparatively choosy”. Even when told where to go for food, they apparently don’t or won’t do it.