Saturday, June 11, 2011

Packages for the Hungry

Occasionally, we come across people asking for a little help. Oftentimes, they're looking for work, food and cash. They're probably homeless. There's a decent chance they're addicted to alcohol or something less legal.

There's also a decent chance that the one's looking hard for cash are cons. Fortunately, I rarely carry cash, so I can always say I don't have any. I can't in good conscience ignore someone who's truly hungry, however.

So we've come up with a solution -- a low cost, high calorie, non-perishable package that you can stash in a car and hand out when somebody needs a bit to eat or a drink of water. And it's nice to have when I need a bite to eat, too.

Generally, it's a couple of packages of poptarts, which are really good choices for non-perishables and have about 400 food calories (1673 kJ) a package. Each package runs about 0.75 dollars. We also add a 0.5 L bottle of bottled water, about 0.30 dollars. We also try to add napkins if we have any. All of this is in a plastic shopping bag, usually from Target.

So, for about $1.80, I can provide a hungry person with a meal -- 800 food calories and a half liter of water. And it makes a good emergency ration that's in my car at all times.

Anything I can add to this? Should I double the ration?