Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Feeding the Homeless

I am $21,273.47 in debt. Yes, today I borrowed $3000 from my little sister so I could pay my January and February mortgage. It's not that humiliating, seeing as this is not the first time I've hit her up for money. She's obviously the responsible child in the family. Now all I have to do is figure out where March payments and my property taxes are going to come from and I'll be good to go.

Last week my friend gave a me a huge cache of fruit roll-ups. Her kid got five new fillings at her last dental appointment which finally convinced my friend that any food that boasts "10% Real Fruit Juice!" on the label probably isn't that good for you. Actually, she didn't give me the 40 count box of fruit roll-ups. I pulled them out of her kitchen trashcan.

I hate wasted food. Even yucky snacks that I'd never eat. 50% of the food produced in this country is thrown away. Rotting kitchen waste in landfills is a major cause of greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, people are starving to death across the planet.

I pack the roll-ups into the glove compartment of my car. On the way home, I give some to a homeless man at a stoplight with a "Will Work for Food" sign. "Empty calories," I warn him. He laughs.

As I pull into my driveway it occurs to me that the only thing that really separates me from being that homeless fruit roll-ups man is the fact that I (barely) own my own home. Then it occurs to me that the homeless fruit roll-ups man owns the cardboard box he sleeps in. He also owns his own home. The only thing that really separates me from him is the fact that I am $21,273.47 in debt and he probably made at least $20 begging on the street today.

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