A Doggy Bag's Fate

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Leaving a restaurant one day, I was happily tugging away in my hand a large piece of steak I couldn't finish, some veggies I barely touched, and some damn good steak fries. It's not that it was a bad meal, for had it been I certainly wouldn't be carrying the remains with me. I just simply had to large a lunch and planned to devour this excellent meal at a later time.

On the way back to the car, we passed by several of Sacramento's homeless population, some eating out of take-home boxes and bags much like my own. I paused a moment and saw one gentleman, his weathered camo pants, and haggard beanie looking like they had little chance of protecting anyone from the biting cold, staring with a forelorn face across the street. A lady with a coat too large and a swollen black eye eating steaming noodles out of a bag from the same place I just left sat on the curb. As I walked by I paused for a quick moment to give him my take-home bag, and continued on my way.

I didn't want to act cold, I just didn't know what to say. All I could think to do was give him a quick look, a small smile, pass him the bag, and go on.

I don't think I've ever given money to the homeless, mainly due to the fact I never carry cash on me as it burns holes in my pockets. I have gone into the market though on multiple occasions and bought a bag of oranges, loaves of bread, or cans of food for their pets. Each time, I simply just gave them the food and moved on with little more than a hello. I'm not sure if I do it out of guilt, piety, pity, or well... I dunno. I'm also not trying to make myself feel better, but maybe is a little of that and all of the above as well. But I know I do feel a better that they'll be eating something that day.

But, at least, judging from the other homeless with their bags, that at least other people were willing to part with their food, and those receiving the bags were more than happy to have what were literally warm scraps and leftovers. This is at least encouraging to know, that there are enough people out there who actually care. Who give a damn. Take Sam of Becks and Posh and her recent blogathon in order to raise money for Food Runners. Take Wind Youth Services, helping to shelter, feed, and give hope to Sac's homeless teens. Take the volunteers at Davis Community Meals. They're willing to take their time to do something.

There were also some people in front of me that night. They shied away from the homeless on the street, and hugged their doggy bags close to them. I and my fellow diners followed behind and we all ended up in the same parking lot. A bit of laughter a few cars away. An arm flew up and the doggy bags landed in the trash. Apparently, they had changed their minds. The bags of food were no longer wanted.

They would have just sat in the fridge and gone bad anyways.


  1. Good for you, Garrett. :)

    I was on the tube once and gave some KFC to a lady who was begging. When she got off the train some guy had a go at me because she looked like she was on heroine. I don't what he thought she was going to do! Swap chicken wings for drugs?!

  2. Nice post. I hate wasting food, because I always think of the "starving children" speech ... Generally I don't waste much food in my own home anymore. I go shopping on a daily basis and buy what I need, and try to use up whatever I buy. But in restaurants it's harder because you can't really control the portion size you get. And I'm not much for leftovers. Generally my husband will eat it, but it would be nice if I could give extra food to someone who really needed it.

  3. Wow. Nice posting. I hope lots of people read this. It actually made me realize that so often I don't finish a meal in a restaurant and refuse the offer for a dogie bag for whatever reason. It seems silly not to take it, if only to give it to somebody who would indeed appreciate it.

  4. The thing that always got to me was this lady would bring her daughter with her and they always sat outside of the local McDonald's where I used to live. We never gave money but if we could afford it, we would give some food to those who stood on the corner.

    Up here you see it a lot by the mall, and we get a lot of people who ask us for change outside of the Albertson's up here...one guy was actually honest with us about getting his beer, and I told him I appreciated his honesty. It was 16cents...I obliged, which I normally don't.

  5. how kind of you....my brother does that, just goes and buys things they will need, he bought this homeless guy a pair of gloves and a toque over the winter...I do my part by donating to the food drives...its the least I can do.


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