Today I was reminded why I work for the Food Bank. During my normal Sunday grocery shopping trip, I heard someone say “That woman just pushed a whole shopping cart of groceries out the door!” Within seconds, several employees ran after her. I was near the front door and it was easy to see the commotion. An old van was parked just outside the front door. The mattress tied to the top indicated the family was homeless. A man sat in the drivers seat and two little wide-eyed kids watched as mom and the cart of groceries was escorted back into the store. As they walked past me the mom repeated “I’ll pay! I’ll pay!” At this point I continued shopping. A few minutes later I overheard a clerk say that when they ran her credit card, it was denied. Fortunately for this family, she was allowed to leave without prosecution. I was grateful that the staff recognized a family in crisis.
I looked for the family in the parking lot but they were gone. I wanted to tell them about the Food Bank resources like Food for Children and the partner agencies with emergency food pantries like the Bay Area Crisis Nursery (for her small children) and the family homeless shelter. I hope I see them again. I also hope they reach out to help, because it is available.
What a sad reminder about the necessity of the Food Bank and other nonprofit agencies. I don’t think I will forget this family and the little scared faces peering out the van windows. Although this scene will haunt me, I am happy that I was at Safeway when this happened. This was a highly motivating experience. This is why I work at the Food Bank.
If you know someone in need of food assistance, please visit www.foodbankccs.org or call 1.855.309.FOOD
Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager
Food Bank of contra Costa and Solano