When I worked in Manhattan, I always stopped and dropped off a sandwich and cup of coffee for someone. Never gave money.
We have had several people drop by my church asking for help.
When you offer them food or a ride to where they are going they refuse and want cash then get mad when you don’t give it to them.
I read a book where a homeless man shared a scam called a "food drop."
The scam works like this. Scare up enough money to buy a hamburger, which is usually pretty easy. Then go to some building and hang out in front of the building right before lunch. Take a bite out of the hamburger, then put it in a trash can.
When people start coming out for lunch, start going through the trash can. "Find" the hamburger and start eating it. People will shove money at you so you don't have to eat garbage.
So you even have to be careful giving someone a sandwich. Like another poster said, make sure they eat it in front of you.
Getting your idea of just giving food is good however along with it I’d like to include some fake dollars with Bammy’s face in the middle with the inscription “In Me You Trust”. Should be legal tender and honored by any fawning leftist establishment.
When I had a couple of contracts in downtown DC I would offer lunch to the panhandlers who asked me for money. Every single one of them cursed me out and I never bought a single lunch.
I tried that with a homeless woman, and she replied "No thanks, I don't eat on Tuesdays, that's my drinking day. I'll take money!".