I wish I could remember if I paused here, if I said, “really?” If I just took it. I think I must have just taken it, because if I’d paused for a moment, I would have said, “No, you don’t have to do that, no thanks. I don’t need it, I’m fine.” But instead I grab the bag with the sandwich, I grab the coffee, I start to walk out. I say thank you, but not in a meaningful way. I don’t stop and look her in the eyes and say, “Thank you.” Maybe I should have. But there is food at my house and money and a Trader Joe’s gift card and this whole incident isn’t about me being needy but instead about me not doing math.
I walk out the door, but first, I stop to put milk in the coffee. Even as I’m doing it, I’m thinking, this is ridiculous that I’m doing this. I just accepted charity and now what am I doing, thanks for the free coffee, now let me also take your free milk, ha. Top off, whole milk, top back on, grab a straw.
I walk out, don’t look back.
“All I eat is candy and cupcakes, mostly during the day, unless I have an actual lunch break. I went to a hypnotherapist to cure the candy addiction, and it worked until I got pregnant, and then the therapist died.”
ALISON BROD, FOUNDER, ALISON BROD PUBLIC RELATIONS
What Fuels New Yorkers? - NYTimes.com
Saucisson and Alsacienne: Bacon Sausage with Creme Fraiche, Caramelized Onions and Port Salut Cheese (at Hot Doug’s)
Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel (at Hot Doug’s)
Dear Mr. Mayor and anyone else: Want to know what it’s like to live on food stamps? Read this, this or this — or ask the 46 million Americans who do it every day, not as a “challenge” or for publicity but because they can’t afford food.
Speaking as someone who’s been on food stamps — as a child and again, more recently, as an adult — such challenges are no adequate comparison to the experience of being poor and living with food insecurity. Living just one week or even one month on less, you are not — as Batali says — “walk[ing] in someone else’s shoes.”
You have no idea — and the lessons you tell us you learn prove this.