Today I saw something that made me so sad. I was at Food Lion, loading up on bagels two for one and their takeaway rolls that taste like homemade and stuff like lettuce for salads. I had over $55 worth of fresh stuff and bread in the cart ($45 after my bonus card) when I pulled up to the conveyor belt. As I waited for the guy in front of me, I noticed that his "haul" was pretty small and there were what looked like checks (remember those pieces of paper we used to use to pay the bills?) on three separate smalls stacks of food.
One stack had three boxes of the store brand rice krispies - the large size - and a loaf of wheat bread and a check.
One stack had two gallons of milk, a quart of orange juice (store brand), a bag of beans, and a check.
The last stack had a canteloupe and a banana and a check. The last one said in part "no more than $6 cash."
Do you ever look at what the person at the grocery in front of you is buying? Try to figure out if it's a single guy alone with his 12 pack of budweiser and bag of tortilla chips and dip on Saturday night or a woman with two kids hanging out of the kids cart in the front screaming while she piles packages of eggos and cartons of ice cream onto the belt, along with the vegetables she hopes they will eat. Or the woman in really high heels who is obviously just off from work and picking up dinner stuff.
This guy was a WIC client. As in women/infants/children.
My curiosity got the better of me and I think I was actually being rude, although what I was feeling was the desire to hand him my bagels and raspberries for his kids. WIC is for people who can't afford groceries.
And this was probably the groceries for the week. No meat. No eggs. No butter. No peanut butter. Bare essentials.
Justin said I have no way of knowing if that was all the dude was going to be able to buy for the week, but I came away from there horribly sad that people might actually have to live on that amount of food and try to feed their children with that amount of money. And that there are people who don't even have that and have no food at all. Or even necessarily homes in which to eat.
I came away incredibly grateful for all I had and thinking that I need to give more of my time and effort to paying attention to those around me. Because the people who need help aren't necessarily overseas and starving. Some of them are actually in my backyard and starving.