Friday, April 10, 2009

Dumpster Diving....

We've been hearing through the grapevine that a group of campers across from the Food Lion on Hawthorne Road would like visits from the Home Van. Yesterday we stumbled around in the woods until we found them. Winston is living there, James who used to live in the woods off Pistol Alley, and a couple more. Winston's health is fragile and his friends have been very concerned about his nutrition. I will be able to bring him vitamins and energy drinks from the Food Bank now that we've found him. We will also be bringing them a shovel and big
plastic bags for camp beautification. This is a camp where people have a lot of problems, but also have a strong faith in God. We enjoyed talking with them. They have been surviving by dumpster diving behind the Food Lion.

The social needs of homeless people, and all of us, for that matter, can be just as important as food. These guys were eager to talk, share news, and hang out. As the days get longer we will do more of that. Yesterday we had to leave to get to other wooded areas before the sun disappeared.

Dumpster diving is actually a pretty good way to survive. Stores throw out enormous quantities of food that is at or near the date of expiration, most of it still wrapped. The guys who dumpster dive know when the store puts the food out and get it promptly. Johnny Leash, one of our homeless friends, has his own little outreach program of dumpster diving for food on behalf of an AIDS patient and an old veteran he knows, both of whom are housed but have little money for food. Robert the Vegan also dumpster dives on behalf of other people. In
San Antonio, Texas there is a a whole colony of voluntarily homeless people who dumpster dive on behalf of the chronically homeless population. I read about them on the Internet. They are mostly young folks who are making a statement - they believe our society has become so morally corrupt and wasteful that they have left it behind to live in solidarity with homeless people, reclaiming what society throws away. WAY TO GO!!!! As an old sixties kid, this just dazzles me. What if they gave a government and nobody came?

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