One morning this week, I was driving to a meeting, late as usual, and I came up to an intersection and saw a man flying a sign that said, “Homeless and hungry.” I didn’t have time to stop and talk to him, or tell him about the free meal places in town, but I remembered that just the day before, Audrie, my StreetWatch partner, had put a box of food behind the seat in my truck.
So while the light was red, I reached back and grabbed a can of vienna sausages and a package of tuna and crackers, and when the light turned green and I could get up closer to him, I handed him the food out the window and said, “God bless you.” He gave me a big smile and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much!” And then I had to drive on, because there was a line of cars behind me. But it was something. And I thought, “This would be such an easy way for people to help. I should blog this…”
If you want to keep food in your car to give to a panhandler or homeless person, be sure that it doesn’t have to be cooked and that it’s easy to open (pop-top cans, easy-open plastic packaging, etc.) Make sure that it’s non-perishable. And bottled water and sports drinks are good, too.
P.S. Be prepared: Some people may refuse the food. If you offer, you’ve done what you can. Some people who fly signs are feeding their addictions, not their stomachs. Don’t judge. Addiction is an illness. And if an addict is on the street flying a sign to get money to get high, you can be sure that more judgment is just about the last thing they need. Be kind. If you pray, say a prayer as you go…