Today has started out disheartening as I ready to make the sandwiches for Thursday. I only had enough bologna to make 4 sandwiches not 6 as usual. Time to think on my feet to create something nutritious and filling, so to substitute for the sandwich it became snacks with an apricot , peanut butter crackers, raisins and a bag of peanuts. Also I needed to stretch the money in the bank account for the Food Project to last the rest of the month. My journey would take me to a discount grocers South of Market called Food Co. I had never been in this area of the city but you have to do what you have to do ..and I would. On my way to the store having passed out all the packs with a sandwich leaving the two snack packs, was an old women leaning against a parked car in the street. She had with her a cart that carries groceries from the store only inside of hers were everything she owned. She wore a winter heavy coat a stretch knit cap with a scarf tied over top of it , hospital flip-flops with surgical stockings. I crossed the street so I could check if she was in need to medical help. When I reached her she looked up and I said, “ma’am do you need help , food or water?” Her reply was “water please” ..”no food” I asked. She confirmed she was alright for food but wanted to know the forever question “What church are you from?” she asked. I don’t know why that makes me nuts when asked that but I politely said, “no ma’am I am not.” I arrived at the grocers after a 15 block walk passing out the other two food packs along the way. What a find ..I was able to buy 2 packs of Oscar Myers Bologna, 2 long loaves of bread, and 2 boxes of peanut butter crackers all for 10.00 dollars. This store is located in an area that is a mixture of poverty and the young up coming, mostly low-income and poverty. Well, here is where my eyes were opened to blocks of people living on the street creating their own community out in the open. Today was long as it was mentally exhausting and hopefully I can continue this journey a little longer. It seems to be much more than the food and water sometimes it feels to be deeper when looking in their eyes.
Friday closes the week for the food brigade and it closes gently. I was somewhat preoccupied with my personal errands which was taking me back to the local bank. On the corner was the old man who looks East Indian and very pleasant (He was the man who said the other day that I make the best sandwiches in the city). He told me he had looked for me and was hoping he would see me as he danced around in a nylon bathing suit get-up. I chatted with him a little because I could see on the adjacent corner was ‘snaggertooth’. I left the man in the silk undies to give “snaggertooth” a food pack and water, trying to catch the light ..I didn’t but he saw me and waited. This was the very first time he spoke with me longer than with one or two words, wishing me a nice weekend..hot diggity dog..In the parking lot of Safeway were three people without food to eat, a man even ask me if I would wait for a girl he traveled with to give her water. She was inside Starbucks trying to get some so I waited a few minutes. When she came out I said to him since she got water from Starbucks , I can give mine to those who do not have any. Begin walking away when she started running after me asking if she could have a sandwich , it was the last one and I had not gotten very far but decided to give it to her. She said something about it being peanut butter whether if it was or if I had peanut butter.. not sure but was certain I was not giving it to her if she really would not eat it and I said so. She assured me she was eating it because she was starving, I was satisfied. We ended the week having served 352 hungry people since May 1st.
Next Installment: Coming Soon