LR: what does hunger mean to you?
M: when my kidney starts hurting.
LR: you have something wrong with your kidneys, like dialysis or something?
M: no, so some people are only born with one kidney, and I’m one of those. So I gotta be careful, my kidney hurts a lot.
LR: so if it hurts all the time, how do you know when it hurts because of hunger?
M: it’ll hurt real bad for a second and then it’ll start to go away.
LR: okay, so do you have any experiences where it’s hurt and you haven’t been able to get food?
M: I go to the food pantry.
LR: do you like going to the food pantry.
M: no, the kidney doctors keep telling me that I should eat fresh food and fresh meat and stuff like that, no pot and no coffee, and it’s hard to do that cuz the only thing I can really get is juice from the food pantry and that’s not a guarantee every time either and I don’t get a lot of money to go out and buy food cuz I smoke cigarettes.
LR: how much do you smoke?
M: about a pack a day. Can’t quit.
LR: so do they not have good food at the food pantry or?
M: they do they have healthy food but it’s not fresh and they cook it and it takes all the healthy stuff out of it.
LR: okay, how long have you been smoking?
M: since I was 13.
LR: other than the food pantries, where do you go to get food, how do you normally get food?
M: I, when I get a check I go to payless and I go to the cigarette store outside, and I get cigarettes, either that or I’ll go to R&M over on main street and get, like, other food.
LR: okay, where do you work?
M: I don’t work, I get disability.
LR: so can you afford a lot of food with that or?
M: if I spent all my money on food then I would just have enough to support me and Rachael and maybe someday our kid too. That would just be with food and she would have to buy other stuff. We would have to get used furniture and stuff and I’d hate it.
LR: okay so how often do you go to the food pantry?
M: about once a week.
LR: so do you get most of your food from the food pantry?
LR: so what do you buy when you go to payless?
M: I usually get few vegetables, some meat and cheese.
LR: and how often do you go to payless?
M: about once a month. When I get the check.
LR: have you tried to cut down on your smoking at all?
M: yeah, I’ve tried, I’ve quit for 6 months before but everybody on the ag. Team smokes cigarettes and I see them smoking and it just hurts and I want one.
LR: so have you considered maybe, instead of quitting, cutting it in half, maybe a pack every two days?
M: yeah, but it’s causing problems with my girlfriend so I might as well just quit.
LR: how is it causing problems with her?
M: she says how she doesn’t want to date a drug addict and I smoke cigarettes and I told her how I quit all that other stuff, and it’s just not good enough for her.
LR: okay so, um, are you considering quitting in the near future or?
M: yeah. That way I can spend the 10 dollars on food to eat.
LR: do you think if you had that money to spend on food instead of cigarettes that you’d be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables?
M: yes. And I’d have money left over to save.
LR: okay, so when you are going to the food pantry, can you tell me a little bit more about that experience?
M: yeah, uh, you wait, and you tell them when you get there that you need to get some food and there’s about 20 places there in
Lafayette and , west
LR: do you know where most of them are?
M: I know where about ten of them are at. Maybe someday if I have children I will have to go to more, but like I said, you sit and wait, and they have you fill out a paper and you have to wait in line again, and you fill out the paper with your name, and address, and how many people you want to get food for, and zip code and possibly your phone number too, and you got to show your i.d. and they give you a number and some places, once you sign all that you just go and get your food, like Transitional Housing, and uh, other places like Salvation Army you gotta sit and you gotta wait in the lobby area with your number.
LR: so do they bring the food out in that case?
M: you have to go and they take it for you, except for transitional housing, and you gotta be on their list and some places around Lafayette that, what foods that you want, and they get it out of the freezer and you take it and walk home with it or you drive your car and take it home and you eat it. and it usually don’t last but a week; they give you a paper bag like this [gestures to size of bag] and at the end of the week sometimes I have food left over, that I give to my girlfriend.
LR: so have you ever had trouble getting food at all?
M: yeah if I don’t go at a certain time then I don’t get food that day. I always make sure I go at the right time, but for people that don’t, they should have a food pantry where they serve 24/day, cuz some people have to go at a certain time and others are too busy sleeping so they’d rather go on their own, cuz they’re more responsible, and some are just looking to get a ride there so they don’t have to walk, cuz they have a disability with their kidney, like me, and like my girlfriend’s dad, he has a messed up hand and he’s had surgery on it twice, and he can’t move it all the way right and he needs a ride there. They need places open like a VP where you could just go there all day, like the place over on 9th street, I’ve never been there but I think it’s called the Soup Kitchen; they’ve got the Drop, but they make you wait and they don’t let you take food. And I mean, sure it’s helping out people that way but they could better cuz they could be walking in, and it’d be like a treat to them cuz they’re homeless and it’d be like a VP to them and they’d go in and buy whatever they want, to a homeless person a bottle of juice that’d suit them for the whole day and some fresh produce too, you know, something to make them happy, you know? Then there wouldn’t be people getting drunk and smoking crack and stuff cuz the homeless people would be like “that’s not such a good idea, let’s just go to the food pantry”.
LR: have you been homeless?
M: homeless people, they’re like too busy worrying about what they’re gonna look like going into a place but they could do so much more, like they’re doing in
Lafayette, they could do
that all across the . united
LR: where in
were you thinking of? Lafayette
M: they should do like food pantries in every town in the city and all across
Indiana and the .
All the bad areas, they just shouldn’t populate—wasting tax payers’ money, it’s
retarded. That’s why we got a national debt
too, if we just let people go into whatever city they want and get their food,
it’ll help people in the long run cuz they’d be able to spend their money on
stuff they need, like diapers for their kids and brand new clothes for their
kids, and have money to smoke and drink and stuff, if that’s what they want to
do with their life, then let them. united states
LR: so you mentioned before about getting rides to food pantries and other places, do the buses not run by those places?
M: they do, but they don’t go by a lot of them though. And I can understand that, but they need to do, in every city and state and possibly the world, have transportation on every street, that way people don’t get picked up, get disappeared and stuff, kids getting dropped in pools and stuff, like the Casey Anthony story, you know, that’s terrible.
LR: can you talk more about with the food pantries, are there any things you really like about being able to get food?
M: yeah, they should like, do like, like a place like VP, kinda like the Drop, but a VP for people where they can go and get a voucher and are guaranteed homeless, go and get to spend a certain amount of points, like they do with food stamps. In a smaller town or city, that way they just have to hold on to their debit card and they could go once a month or everyday, but as long as they watch it accordingly they could always have food. They could come up with different kinds of food too, that’s why some people don’t go to the food pantries, cuz all they can get are the canned stuff.
LR: what about food stamps, have you ever been on food stamps?
M: yeah, they could do better with the food stamps too, they just are cards with the passcode on it and it’s straight after that, and that way all your money is spent on food.
LR: so you like that system?
M: yeah. They should do something like that for homeless people, if they’re completely suffering then they should have 300$, $200 for food and $100 for their cleanliness. Some homeless people are just too hard to please, a lot of people are hard to please. They should let them have food stamps, like a debit card, but only to be used to go to stores for toothpaste and stuff like that. They should make it so rent don’t cost nothing too, then people could spend their money on food and they wouldn’t have that situation. There’s all these problems going to congress and sorting that out trying to make people happy and it’s terrible.
LR: so did you grow up ever going to a food pantry or anything?
M: no, my mom took good care of me
LR: are there any final experiences you want to talk about, mention, or suggestions that you have about food?
M: they should make it so people can get what they want, as long as it’s healthy. You know.
LR: so more food options at the pantry?
M: yeah, more food at the food pantries. They should have like what they have at a grocery store, like that, to give out for free, and they should do the same for fresh food. It’d be hard to do, but they could figure it out as long as they put a lot of brains into about figuring out how to please people that way, and not have to pay rent, not have to—then they’d have money to go out and buy cars and stuff. Or, you know, they got people also that got money, say, to make better cars that don’t pollute the atmostphere, and the ocean, and leave gasoline and all that stuff in the ground.
LR: so you, um, if food was cheaper, then you’d have more money to spend on other stuff?
M: yeah. If they didn’t have , if people didn’t have to pay rent, and pay for their food, the cars and houses, and everybody wouldn’t be so jealous all the time. Cuz they would, they would have plenty of food, and they would just have to go to the grocery store, pick out what they want, scan their card, and have like no limit. But they should change food to where, no matter how it tastes, no matter how good it is, it don’t make you gain a whole crapload of frikkin’ pounds on ya. Everybody just, they should make it so everybody is happy, that’s what the world needs, for everyone to be happy.
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