I'm a moderator on my local Freecycle group. I'm absolutely tearing my hair out about this - it's just me and two other mods, and the head moderator IS one of the sob stories. (Boo hoo, I'm a starving student and a grandmother and I have cancer and my husband left me and my four dogs all just died and I lost my job. No, I'm not exaggerating - she has stated all of these things in the last few months.) The other moderator just approves everything that comes through the queue, no matter what, although she does occasionally edit them so they have the correct format.
As a result, our group used to have a rule about "one wanted per week" but we have no way to enforce it unless it's obvious someone is posting a bunch in a row. But we took that out, because "what if someone really, really needs these things?" We finally had someone a few weeks ago post eleven (!) "wanted"s for big-ticket items, and we had several angry posts from regulars in the group. I was mad, too - yes, you can post that you need a washer and dryer and fridge and sofa and king-size bed and a full nursery set and umpty-gazillion other things, but at least have the decency to make your ONE post say "Wanted: lots of stuff" and put it all in one place.
After all the backlash, the other two moderators let me post a revision of the rules. Now we still have no limit on "wanted" posts, but the moderators can reject wanteds for big-ticket items (specifically cars and gaming systems) and can reject people who apply to the group saying "I'm poor and I heard I can get free stuff here." It's only going to get worse as we get closer to Christmas and people start turning to Freecycle to supply the gifts for their children. ("I need NEW toys for a girl age 8 and a boy age 10 - video games would be great thx!")