24 Jan Homeless Tumblr user perfectly explained why a Minneapolis food bank’s new strategy is so important.
Food banks are the most common ways to effectively help those in need. A lot of communities are already benefitting from programs like these and it’s really good charity. But, Minnesota food bank Matter started doing something else that would surely change the game forever.
The food bank is teaming up with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minneapolis to help distribute food.
Officers will keep boxes of food in their cars, and if they come across someone in need while on patrol, they’ll be able to provide them with things like raisins, oatmeal, granola bars, and canned vegetables. Such a simple, but amazing idea!
Based on data put out by Feeding America, with a population of more than 5.4 million in Minnesota, there are hundreds of thousands of hungry residents.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we will come across a number of those who are less fortunate, maybe even homeless. This will allow the deputies to build a little rapport, reach out to them, [offer] a healthy alternative to what they might be doing.” — Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio
Sure, small-scale assistance would not completely end poverty and hunger but this will surely be a big thing for those in need. It’s no secret that, for many homeless people, finding food is a daily struggle — this is truly a blessing to them.
One Tumblr user, who agreed to let me share his story here, responded to those criticisms and offered up some insight on what it’s like being homeless and hungry:
“When I was homeless, I was so constipated all the time — [a] combo of limited access to restrooms and living on one meal a day from the back door of the pizza place… but you can only live on stale pepperoni deep dish for so long before your guts start to rebel. And that was when I was — what, 19? 20? It’s gotta be so much worse for older people, and not everyone’s got such a nice restaurant to mooch off of. Eating actual trash will f*ck your stomach up like whoa. You never know how painful gas can be until you eat something that was a little farther past the sell-by date than you thought it was, it turns your stomach into a chemical refinery, and the nearest open public restroom is a mile away.”
“Handing out raisins and oatmeal looks, at first glance, like one of those officious ‘spend your food stamps on lettuce’ clusterf*cks that middle-class people are always perpetrating because they’ve never been in the shoes of the people they’re trying to ‘improve’. But actually, it’s a great idea, and this is gonna make a lot of people a little healthier in immediate, tangible ways. We’re not talking some vague probability-of-heart-disease-in-20-years stuff. We’re talking standing a little straighter and breathing a little easier the very next day.”
When it comes to solving problems as big as poverty and hunger, we can’t just focus on the big picture and we can’t just focus on the small-scale stuff. It’s only through a combination of both approaches that we’ll ever find a way to make things better.
What do you think of this very humanitarian action that people are doing to help those in need? Share your thoughts in the comments below and share this post on Facebook too!