I think if I lost my job right now (please visit a few more pages on the site, people!), I'd rather just have a giant bag of rice instead of a card. Unless the card is edible and made of super-nutrients. That might be more helpful.
Seeing it from the side of the person giving the card, buying a piece of thin cardstock with words on it is easier than actually being a friend to someone, so there's that. Plus it's a reminder that the giver still has money to spend on stupid crap, which always feel good.