An Old Man Alone

An elderly man using a cane walked into the Unity Shoppe. His arm circled a grocery bag that he wanted to donate.  Do you help people who need food, he asked?  I thanked him for the donation and he asked me how we give out the food.  I took him to the grocery store and showed him how the services work and the fact that we let our customers choose the food they need from a real grocery store.  As we walked back to the food donation area, he asked many questions. He was shy as he told me his wife died and he no longer cooks.  He confessed that he needs food from time to time and often receives bags of food from people trying to help him, and he was bringing us the food he did not want.   He had talked to some seniors, and they suggested that he visit the Unity Shoppe to see if Unity could help him get the food he needed. I asked him if he liked any of the services he used, and he said he didn’t get much he could use because they always give him a prepackaged bag and he didn’t know what was in it until he got home.   He said he usually gives most  of it to his neighbors.  I asked him what he needed. . .  “ my favorites are chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup, tuna, spam, peanut butter (smooth not crunchy) and white bread.”  I put an empty grocery bag in a shopping cart and told him to go shopping.   I watched as he placed his preferred items in his cart. He seemed to enjoy  the process. He SHOPPED that day for the food he wanted!  He traded his bag of unwanted food for food of his choice.  He left with his head held high because HE DID NOT FEEL LIKE A CHARITY CASE and loved shopping for his needs.  

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