Day 7: Feed the hungry

by Jourdan Fairchild in

I was 22, and I'd been living in Manhattan for less than 6 months. My salary was low, but my spirits were high. One day as I left work, I snagged an extra loaf of bread that had been sent to the office from a local bakery. No one wanted it, so I made big plans to share it later that night with my roommate. But on the way home from work, a homeless man entered my subway car and began begging for food. Without hesitation, I handed him my loaf, which he grabbed, stared at, and then practically threw back in my face. "I don't want this!" he grumbled. A lady sitting next to me found this to be the perfect opportunity to teach me "why you shouldn't try to give homeless people food, young lady; they only want money for drugs!" It left a very sour taste in my mouth to say the least. But I didn't completely lose hope. For the next few years, on those occasions when I had an extra piece of fruit or a bag of chips, I'd hand them to someone who needed the nourishment more than me. I was back in New York this past weekend for a wedding. Knowing that this was one of my challenges, I handed a veteran some chips and a granola bar, which he took with a smile and a nod. But the most effective way to help the homeless population is to support organizations devoted to the cause. So today I donated to my local chapter of Feeding America, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which serves food to 142,400 men, women, and children each week. In fact, September is Hunger Action Month. If you can, I urge you to participate, whether by spreading the word on social media, signing up to serve at a local food kitchen, or at the very least, watching this inspiring documentary.7-american-bread-large                                                                         photo courtesy of Saveur

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