My Gratitude for the Man Who Gave Me Free Food

When I was sixteen, I was a Junior in high school, on my own, and working. I struggled with paying bills, and that included my meals. Thankfully, the school supplied both breakfast and lunch to me at no cost, so even though I was underweight and hungry, I got to eat.

The real problem started after graduation.

Still on my own, with nobody helping me, I got a job at a fast food joint. Minimum back then was $5.15 an hour, and let me tell you– no GoFund me in 2001. No Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube that I could reach out or try to make money. It was a very disconnected time, especially for me– who couldn’t afford anything other than a landline. Well, it was my neighbor’s landline, but they let me use it.

I was 5’9″, 110 lbs, and in danger of losing still more weight because I often had to choose between gas or meals (no car, no job… conundrum). Between sanitary products or meals. Between car insurance or meals.

My weight earned me the ire of other women, who were “so jealous!” of my weight because I looked “so good!” and they bet I could “eat anything and not gain weight!”

I could have spoken up. I could have said: I don’t have anything to eat. But my situation filled me with shame, so I hid it.

One of the managers at the fast food place really didn’t like me, and she would force me to clock out for my breaks– but keep working. I didn’t know that was illegal at the time. I was naive, I had no adults I could tell, and so I dutifully clocked out, kept working, and would often do 8-hour shifts with no food.

The times I did eat, coworkers would jeer “Wooow, she eats!” as I tried to eat my meals carefully on an empty stomach. I didn’t want to be sick and throw up. Also, it’s weird to me how it’s still acceptable to jeer at thin people, act like they’re “lucky,” and comment on their body… Anyway.

One person saw me and knew something was wrong– the general manager of the restaurant. He took one look at me, saw my low weight, saw the way I ate, saw the way I coveted the food I was bagging, and he pulled me aside one day. He said, “You can have anything you want to eat, for free, as long as you make it yourself.”

Oh, my God. I was elated!! Even though I would work right through my break, I could clock out at the end of the day, make a little bag of fast food, and go home… and eat! I tried not to take too much, just in case he changed his mind, but he never did. And that may very well have saved me from health problems. It certainly helped me to not be hungry all the time.

It only took one person to look past any assumptions and see me, and notice my real situation. This man wasn’t “so jealous” of my body, he saw that I was starving and helped.

I will be forever grateful to him. He was actually a very nice man, who took his job seriously and often brought in his wife and kids to have a meal. They were all good people πŸ™‚ I remember playing Pokemon cards with his little boy, and I said “Go fish” and the kid roared with laughter 🀣 “That’s not how you play!” He thought it was the funniest thing πŸ˜„

That was in my teenage years and, thanks to God, I am doing well now. I thank God for good people. I thank God for all of my meals. I pray that if I see someone in need, I will see it, not look past it, and be able to help ❀️

μ•ˆλ…•! Bye! Ciao!

jarilissima

thanks for stopping by!

43 comments

  1. That’s an amazing story! In retrospect we can always look back and see the hand of God in our lives. I was underweight for years in my 20s, due to anxiety issues, and it always amazes me how people could make comments about my weight (much like the ones you endured). They would say β€œI wish I had your problem!” Now that I’m in my 60s I don’t have that β€œproblem” but I do remember!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ And oh, no. I don’t think they realized what they were saying. It’s never fun to lose weight due to anxiety or stress. I’m glad that you are doing well now ❀️

      And that’s such a good way to put it, seeing the hand of God in our lives πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Mandy πŸ™‚ When I was on my own at that age, I definitely depended on the kindness of others, and in many instances, people seemed glad to help. There’s some good people out there in the world, and I thank God for them! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Your story touches me so much, Yari. What a difference that man and his family made in your life! This is the second story like this I’ve read today. I want to be that person who makes such a difference. And your life story sounds amazing. Have you shared it all? I would love to read it. God’s blessings to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • He definitely made a huge difference for me! It only takes one person reaching out, just one πŸ™‚ Though I’ve gone through difficult times, I’ve been fortunate to meet really good people throughout my journey, too πŸ™‚

      Having been on my own so young, I definitely have some cooky and interesting stories to tell! I haven’t shared them all, but I like to share the more positive ones here and there πŸ™‚ Thank you, and God bless you and yours! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such a moving story. Thank you for sharing that. Life is filled with guardian angels and I am glad that you found one in the general manager in one of your greatest moments of need. And most importantly, it’s great that you are able to move on from this and are now in a much better place!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was so touching to read. I hope to also be able to look beyond assumptions and extend grace and kindness like that man did.
    God provided and looked after you through that time- Praise God

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was in such a difficult situation, and I do believe God looked after me, even back then before I had received Jesus into my heart! God is good πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your wonderful comment πŸ™‚ God bless ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an absolutely touching story!!! Wow!! It really is inspiring to know there was one good person who really saw you and extended a helping hand. What a tough situation to have gone through, but I’m glad it had a happy ending! ❀️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚ And, because of good people like him, I try to keep in mind that although I’m just one person, I can make a difference in someone’s life. We all can πŸ™‚ We don’t have to do anything super big to make a difference.

      Thanks! Yes, definitely a happy ending so far πŸ™‚ ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment ❀️ It was difficult, but I think it also helped me build resilience. It also allowed me to see that there are good people in this world πŸ™‚ Thanks again! Blessings to you and yours as well! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely, lovely story! I’m wiping away tears as I type. What a wonderful general manager you had and I’m so glad he saw what those other people were too blind and too busy pointing fingers to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. May we be aware of the needs around us……if everyone would put their phones down for a few minutes, we could love one another more and take care of one another. There is a balance to everything…….let us treat one another as we want to be treated. So thankful for you posting this…….

    Liked by 1 person

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