Stealing to Eat in the Inner City

Today I was standing outside of a Shoppers Drug Mart and observed a young man (about my age) drive up on a bike and go inside the store. About 2 minutes later, this same guy came running out of the store, hopped on his bike and drove away. I could clearly see he was stashing something under his black hoody. As he drove away a store clerk came out yelling swears at this young guy. When this guy was @ the edge of the parking lot, before driving away… he yelled back something crazy, he said:

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“I Need Food For My Baby!!”

Now, I have no idea what actually happened. But one thing is clear. There is a challenge her in the inner city. Thinking about the current challenges the Inner City of Winnipeg faces, I was thinking a couple of options could be possible

  1. the dude didn’t have enough money to feed his baby so he stole it
  2. the dude didn’t have a baby, but still needed to steal food to feed someone
  3. the dude is a regular thief, a lazy guy who would rather steal than earn money and purchase food/get it from a food bank

OR _______________ (your suggestion here)

I do not really know what the story is. But I know we as a community better pay attention when food is being stolen….regardless of the reasons why. Is this a food security issue? poverty? criminal? systemic? political?!Β But what do you think?!

MC

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2 thoughts on “Stealing to Eat in the Inner City

  1. Ken Sanderson says:

    My wife had an interesting experience in Shoppers a couple weeks back. In front of her in the line was an Aboriginal woman with a cart full of baby supplies. When it came time to pay, it appeared that the woman didn’t have enough to make the purchases. So she left the cart behind and walked out the store. My wife completed her purchases and walked out the store to find the woman. She found the woman sitting in a bus shack with a man, where they were having a beverage of some sort. She then told the woman that she saw what happened and is willing to pay for the purchases for her.

    The woman, was moved nearly to tears, but then shared with my wife, “I have to be honest with you, because you are being so kind to me. I wasn’t getting those things because I have a baby. I was planning to steal them and sell them.” She then began to tell my wife the challenges of her life and her efforts to clean up. After my wife patiently listened, she gave the only cash she had ($25) and said, “Take this, and I truly hope you succeed in what you are trying to do.” The woman was happy and said, thank you, “I’m so hungry, I think I will go buy a little Ceaser’s pizza.”

    It is hard to say why he was stealing the food. But the issue is far above food security alone. The systems in place to help those most in need are still letting people fall through the cracks. To navigate the systems, you need to have the education and resources that would have you in place where you don’t need the systems in the first place.

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