This morning I decided to check out the $1 sale at Jet Rag for some clothes to give out with the lunches and I found lots of nice, thick jackets in good condition all for $1 each! The clothes were happily accepted and I'm really glad we decided to add clothing to our trips because they are desperately needed. I also bought some t-shirts, sweaters and pants. Its heartbreaking to see how dirty some people's clothes and hands are. We are thinking of a possible drop-off location where food and clothing can be donated to Lunch Bunch.
A special thanks to Sheri, who's donation helped provide for a portion of the lunches and clothes this week. We were able to make 48 lunches this week instead of 30!
Grocery shopping took a little longer than expected, as Mere and I have not practiced our basic math skills in some time. Luckily, we calculated efficiently and used every item we bought without any leftovers, aside from a few pieces of bread ends.
Look at those large, beautiful tomato slices.
We're trying to keep everything as sanitary and clean as possible, which included cleaning my entire kitchen before we got started.
This week was a bit more heart-wrenching than usual because we went out during the day when more people were awake and lively. After driving around hollywood for a bit, we went to downtown and scoped out what skid row is like during the day. We are still a little scared of large crowds because we don't have enough food for everyone and want to make sure we do this as safely as possible.
The first hour was spent on the side streets where only two or three people were camped out, then we decided to brave a more crowded street near Central and 5th St. and the remaining 30 or so lunches and clothing disappeared within 10 minutes. Mere did an exceptional job of zig-zagging the car through the street to reach the people waving to us.
We saw children for the first time with their mother or father. We saw groups of people looking out for each-other and taking extra lunches back to their friends. We ran out of food and clothes very quickly and there were still people on that street we didn't reach. I hate running out of food people can see us giving it out. It was emotionally draining to say the least.
One man accepted our lunch, picked up his belongings from inside the dumpster, closed the gate and walked away to eat his fresh food. It makes me so happy that we were able to get a couple of people away from eating out of the dumpster, at least for one meal.
One thing we learned this week is that we need to make sure to only use soft and easy to chew items in the bags. A lot of people were missing a good portion of their teeth. I noticed people were eating the sandwich or banana first, both easy to bite into. We are going to replace the hard granola bars with another fruit, maybe grapes. Also we have yet to find a healthy alternative to chips. They didn't have the baked chips at Food 4 Less, but the prices for everything else was quite reasonable. We may try Smart and Final next week, just to compare prices and check out our options for snacks.
We didn't get the opportunity to take some pictures in action, but we found this nice gentleman painting a mural tribute to Michael Jackson.
“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.”
-Michael Jackson, RIP