Three days ago, a friend of mine told me she had $5 to her name after buying what little food she could afford. She’s a single mom, has three children, and looking for employment. Having just canned and preserved 50 pounds of fruit and vegetables, I told her to come over and get anything she needed.

She said:

“I can’t pay you.”

I said:

“No payment needed, it’s a gift. Come over when you can.”

She came over and I gave her preserves, eight pounds of meat, as much fresh fruit as I could fit in the box. This morning, I’d stopped at the grocery store to get some ibuprofen. Walking past the checkout line, I heard a man say:

“It’s all I can afford.”

I turned and looked at his cart, I saw two packages of noodles in his cart and a few cans. I then looked at him. He was thin, over 45, and had a burdened look on his face. I walk over to this lovely soul, handed him the $55 in cash I had in my wallet and put the two gallons of water I’d managed to find in his cart.

He looked at me and said:

“How did you know?”

I smiled and said:

“I want you to get what you need. You need to eat.”

He thanked me and as I walked away he asked:

“What about you? Don’t you need the water?”

I said to him:

“I’m blessed. I have enough.”

He didn’t see the tears in my eyes as I walked away from him.

I couldn’t but help but cry this morning. The look in his eyes after being given some money and water broke my heart. I looked around the store. The few that saw our exchange looked uncomfortable because they hadn’t offered anything.

Throughout the store, people had stockpiled their carts. Some were even making sport of “hunting” for food. No one was focused on anything but themselves. At the checkout, I had the option to donate to families who couldn’t afford food, I gave the largest amount I could.

I know we are all worried about what’s happening around the world with the coronavirus. But to be honest, in the U.S, most of this worry doesn’t appear to be about the good others. It feels quite self-centered. As everyone hoards toilet paper, rice, canned goods, baby supplies, and water, please realize:

There are people that can’t find the things they need.

There are people who can’t afford it.

How To Help Families Who Are Food Insecure

Food and food security are things very close to my heart. I think everyone should be able to eat. What I’ve experienced in the last few days led to me search for ways to help those in need. Here are organizations you can support to help people who need food:

  1. Expensify:
  2. Feeding America:
  3. Meals On Wheels:
  4. GlobalGiving:
  5. Facing Hunger:
  6. Your Local Food Bank: Food banks in all states are facing low supplies. Look for local food banks. Donate what you can.

“I purchased within the last two weeks close to $150,000 of food that I’m gonna need funding for.”

– Cyndi Kirkhart, executive director of Facing Hunger Foodbank

The CDC and World Health Organization have also to set up fundraisers to help with additional aid.

Can I encourage you to remember that others are going through what you are experiencing as well?

If you look up and look around, do you see someone that might need a little help?

Can you spare a few dollars or an item in your cart to help them provide for their families for a few days?

After we take care of our families, I hope we can help others. Hopefully, we can spare a little human kindness and compassion.