A few weeks ago I was taking the off ramp into Moorhead, Minnesota from the interstate. I pulled up to the light and there was a homeless man with a sign asking for help. I nudged my mom who was sitting beside me in the passenger seat because this was just the opportunity that I had been waiting for.
A few nights previously I had stuffed a ziploc bag with random food from my family’s pantry and hid it under my seat to wait for the opportunity such as this to come around. Far too many times I had driven up to this specific off ramp and tried to avoid eye contact as a homeless person stood right outside my car door asking for help. I was done with experiencing that feeling of guilt in my gut.
However, this time around I was ready. I rolled down my window and quickly called out to the man, “Hey! Want some food?”
The man quickly smiled and enthusiastically came over. He had the biggest smile on his face as I handed him the bag of snacks. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m on a ‘see-food’ diet so this is just wonderful!”
We exchanged a laugh and at that point the light turned green and we quickly buzzed away. Although his “see-food” comment bothered me, it didn’t change the fact that it felt good to do something as small as this, and it brought joy to not only the man, but also to myself and my mom in the car.
I don’t tell this story to promote or to give myself a pat on the back, but to share just how easy this was to do. It literally took me one minute to fill that bag with food. Although I realize that in the long run that small bag of food won’t do much, it was at least something. And what if, what if every person with these resources took just one minute and did something as easy as filling a ziploc bag with extra food from their kitchen cupboard and sticking it under their car seat?
One idea, one minute, one Ziploc bag, and some food… multiply that by every person with these resources and the motivation to do it and there would be a significantly less amount of hungry people in the world. That’s not only what I think, but what I know.
One simple act.
Do it. I promise you will not regret it.
currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she works remotely as a Policy and Communication Manager for the First Lady of North Dakota. Photography and writing are a passion that help her better appreciate the details of the world.