Here are some replies that involve good deeds:
1) nuvistor wrote that “in my panhandling phase during a few months in 2008, I went to a Nob Hill and asked the manager if he had a sandwich that was about to expire or anything, and he gave me one, and told me he much, much preferred people ask him than take stuff; he can generally help them out.”
In another comment, nuvistor wrote, “Man, one of my first jobs was at a gas station, pumping gas (self serve had just come in but we just pumped it for the customers because self-serve seemed kinda weird). So one day the manager came to me and said, ‘Nuvistor, you look like you’d blow away in a stiff wind, but every time someone goes to get lunch, you always say you’re not hungry, what gives?’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t get paid for another week, so I can’t afford to be hungry until then.’ He took me into his office and made me take an advance on my pay. And I think someone just cut an onion somewhere around here.”
This is another comment he made: “Yeah, if you offer to clean their fingerprinty glass door, a restaurant will find something for you. Or at a convenience store after 10 or so, they gotta toss out those hot dogs, might as well give them to you.
“A big thing is to find people who are not white, born-in-America types. Those of the dominant culture here are taught from birth to be [*]ssholes. But your Mexicans, etc., they’ll take care of ya.”
2) eckpm wrote, “When I had just turned 18, I made the decision to pack what I could into a beat-up truck and blaze a new life for myself about 700 miles from my hometown. My cousin accompanied me because I promised adventure and I was determined not to fail.
“We started working as day laborers doing odd construction jobs and whatever we could for the first few weeks. Any cash we had saved got wasted on non-essential items pretty quickly. Unfortunately for us, the staffing company didn’t have much work and after a week of no income we resorted to pawning the Sony PlayStation and all the games. Yeah, we pawned Need for Speed, too. That gave us another week.
“By week 3 we had zero dollars and nothing left to liquidate. We had paid the lot rent on the trailer for 3 months up front and the manager wouldn’t budge on a refund so hunger set in pretty quick. A plan was hatched to get free food.
“I called up to Churches Chicken and told them that they forgot to include a bucket of chicken and mashed potatoes with our drive-through order and that I was coming to pick it up. There hadn’t been an order because we were absolutely broke. I drove there and picked up our meal for the night.
“That food made me feel like the most pathetic person on the face of the planet. I felt subhuman, lower than low.
“The next morning my cousin and I went to find a job. The first site we went to wasn’t hiring but they told us of another that was. I remember talking to the foreman and I explained our entire situation to him. I didn’t cry, but I was on the verge. All of the details spilled out, even the stolen bucket of crispy chicken. He gave us each 10 dollars and told us to go get something to eat because he couldn’t allow us to work for him on an empty stomach. I worked my [*]ss off for the next 3 months of that job and every day since.
“It’s amazing how bad a stolen chicken thigh tastes.”
Here are some replies that show why food stamps (now SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — in the United States) or the equivalent are important:
1) natty1212 wrote, “The meal I’m most ashamed of? It was during a bad bout of unemployment a few years ago. I knew where my neighbor kept his spare key, so when he was at work I went into his apartment. He had a sh[*]tload of frozen pizzas so I stole a couple. My plan was to eat just 2 pieces a day, one in the morning and one at night, so 2 pizzas cut into 8 pieces should last 8 days. However, I was so hungry I ate one in one sitting, and the second lasted me only 2 days. I seriously cried when I finished the last one because I felt so ashamed and I didn’t know what I was going to do. My unemployment check was still 3 days away.” He added, “The worst part was, my neighbor was such a good guy I probably could have just asked and he would have helped me out. But I was ashamed that I had let things get so bad. (It’s a long story that I won’t go into.) But yeah, things are much better now.”
2) nuvistor (the same nuvistor as above) wrote, “Yeah, we coped in various ways. I fished, foraged, did odd jobs, and sold artwork. One of my [sisters] was … promiscuous … because when you’re that you get fed. Another one became a real con artist, and stole stuff, and would steal food from friends’ houses. No judgement from me, no judgement at all. I’m sure if I would have been willing to f[**]k or steal for food I’d have done it, fishing was just something I liked anyway, all kids foraged, and art was my thing.”
3) How about food banks? No doubt they help, but …
-Poison_Ivy- wrote, “Went to a food bank once. Got 8 cans of cranberries, 4 purple onions (looked homegrown), and a bunch of apples.”
RUST_LIFE commented, “That’s nothing, try two jars of mayonnaise (expired) and three jars of yeast (also expired) to feed two kids :)”
Note by David Bruce: Food banks can’t give away food unless they have food to give away. Even food banks run out of food.
Foreverflightless commented, “You can be turned away if you ‘make too much’. We were.”
4) This is the most pathetic meal lepurpleplum ate because of poverty: “Toast sandwich… two variations to this: — 2 slices of bread with 1 slice of toasted bread in between — 2 slices of toast with 1 slice of bread in between.”
5) CasuallyConversing wrote, “When we were struggling, we ate a slice of bread for dinner. That was the only meal we had at home. My mom always told us to eat a lot of food at school since our lunches were free at least.
“Once, my brother ate two pieces of bread instead of one, and our mom was so angry. I asked her about it more recently, and she said she was so angry because that was all the food we had, and we had to make it last for a week. We didn’t realize our situation was that dire.”
6) HoosierDoc wrote, “My mom and I shared a Tootsie Pop when she was pregnant with my sister. We ran out of our savings and my dad hadn’t sent for us yet. My mom cried because I was hungry and we couldn’t even afford a $1 sandwich.”
SunDevilJeeper commented, “You see, this is why I don’t want any kids. If I’m having a hard time keeping my checking account out of the negatives, and subsequently feeding myself, [what] the f[*]ck makes people think having a kid is a good idea?
“‘Have you thought about kids?’
“Yeah, I have. I think they’re a terrible decision for somebody like me.”
Note: David Bruce comments, “My mother used to eat lard sandwiches when she was growing up. Bread and lard and a little salt. Sugar instead of salt when her family had it, which often they did not.”
Source: wutever4ever, “What is the most pathetic meal you’ve ate because you were poor?” Reddit. 24 September 2015
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