This Heroic Mom Fed 30,000 With Extreme Couponing

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By Cooking Panda

Dang, girl!

Now this is how you win the Momma of the Universe award!

When Lauren Puryear turned 29 years old in 2016, she didn’t do any of the typical things one might do to celebrate such an event. Rather than expect (or even demand, depending on how selfish and spoiled you are) gifts from others, or cake, or her favorite foods to gorge on alone, she decided to do something much more humanitarian … like feed 30,000 people before she turned 30.

That’s right; she vowed to herself that she’d feed 30K mouths by 30, and boy did she come through!

As Scary Mommy reports, Puryear has been delivering meals to people by clipping coupons and shopping in bulk, thus allowing her to get nutritious food to people for much less money.

“After I couponed for 50 jars of Ragu sauce and 100 boxes of Barilla pasta all for FREE, I knew I was going to make a difference in the world,” she told Scary Mommy — and she was right.

Even though Puryear doesn’t turn 30 until September 2017, she has already reached her amazing goal of feeding 30,000 hungry mouths, and she has no plans to slow down just because she fulfilled her remarkable promise to herself. 

“I will keep on feeding until then and see what number I can get up to,” she told Scary Mommy, adding optimistically: “Maybe 300,000!”

Puryear has been working with For the Love of Others, an organization that she launched herself and that was inspired by her grandmother, who taught Puryear the importance of helping and loving others. For the Love of Others strives to provide things like food and other essentials to homeless people, and has been doing a spectacular job of making a difference and helping out those in need.

“During my experiences traveling to different cities, I saw that we were not just feeding the homeless,” Puryear said. “We were also providing meals for the everyday working American who is living at or below the poverty line so I am starting a new initiative called Push Past Poverty, where I will aim to educate those in need on how to rise above the poverty line by utilizing community resources, coupons, and other tools.”

Congratulations for your amazing work, Lauren Puryear! You’ve inspired and helped so many.

Source: Scary Mommy / Photo Credit: For the Love of Others/Facebook

Tags: birthday wish, coupons, For the Love of Others, homeless, push past poverty
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Robin Hood Restaurant Charges The Rich To Feed The Poor

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By Cooking Panda

If ever there was a restaurant that deserved our soundest seal of approval, this would be the one.

Madrid’s Robin Hood restaurant just opened in December 2016, and already has celebrity chefs clamoring to cook there and its lunch reservations are completely booked through the end of March 2017.

Robin Hood’s mission is to feed the homeless and the poor for free, while asserting that those with cash to spare — the “rich” — must pay to dine.

Angel Garcia Rodriguez, known as “Padre Angel” to most, is the 80-year-old Catholic priest who runs the restaurant, and came up with the idea for rich customers to pay for breakfast or lunch when they dine at Robin Hood, so that the restaurant can then use that money to feed homeless people dinner totally free of charge.

“I want them to eat with the same dignity as any other customer,” Father Angel told NPR. “And the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation.”

Robin Hood typically feeds about 100 people a night free of charge in two separate shifts. Spain’s unemployment rate, per NPR, is hovering at almost 20 percent, meaning that the amount of people who appreciate and even need a free meal in Madrid isn’t going to dwindle anytime soon.

“Some of our diners are very educated, and some are a bit ashamed to be here,” Nieve Cuenca, a retiree who treks over to Robin Hood once a week to assist in the kitchen, told NPR.

“I love this work. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Robin Hood has a few house rules, and they are all respectful: Patrons may sing, as long as they are not disturbing other diners; they may borrow a cell phone to make a call or take advantage of Robin Hood’s free wi-fi; they’re even welcome to request to use the kitchen if they have a special celebration they’d like to throw.

What do you think of the Robin Hood restaurant?

Sources: NPR / Photo Credit: Juliedesiry/Instagram

Tags: charge the rich, homeless, madrid, robin hood, Spain
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Top Chefs Use Leftover Food From The Olympics To Feed Homeless

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By Cooking Panda

Some of the world’s top chefs joined forces to create gourmet meals for Rio’s homeless population.

Italian chef Massimo Bottura, owner of one of the world’s top 50 restaurants, realized that the amount of food thrown away during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro could potentially be put to greater use.

“I thought, this is an opportunity to do something that can make a difference,” Bottura told The New York Times.

Along with various chefs who had traveled from across the world, Bottura created Refettorio Gastromotiva, a venture to transform the way the world thinks about food waste, hunger and feeding human dignity.”

“This is not just a charity; it’s not just about feeding people,” Bottura explained. “This is about social inclusion, teaching people about food waste and giving hope to people who have lost all hope.”

The initiative, which launched on August 10 in the Lapa neighborhood, has already become a big hit. Guests such as Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, and Brazilian actress and TV host, Regina Case, have come to take a look.

Top chefs such as Alain Ducasse and Joan Roca are among the dozens of culinary masterminds who have volunteered to serve in the kitchen. Alex Atala, owner of one of Brazil’s top restaurants, helped to create one of the gourmet evening menus with ingredients donated by catering companies working with the Olympic village.

“We are a generation of young chefs who are not competing with each other, but who want to share,” Atala said.

Bottura teamed up with Brazilian chef David Hertz several months before the Olympics in order to develop this venture. Hertz convinced Rio’s mayor to provide an empty lot for Refettorio Gastromotiva, while Bottura started the fundraising process to make the homeless dining hall into a reality.

“People right now just don’t trust each other, and most of these companies didn’t want to get involved in a project they thought could get messy,” explained Cristina Reni, project manager of Refettorio Gastromotiva.

Bottura wants to continue working with the venture after the Olympics end. By offering lunch to paying customers, he plans to use the funds to serve 108 free dinners a night. 

Source: The New York Times / Photo credit: Dado Galdieri via The New York Times

Tags: 2016 summer olympics, David Hertz, homeless, Massimo Bottura, philanthropy, Refettorio Gastromotiva
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5-Year-Old Boy’s Interaction With Homeless Man Leaves Entire Waffle House At Loss For Words (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

A 5-year-old Alabama boy fed and said grace with a homeless man at a local Waffle House, bringing the entire restaurant to tears.

Josiah Duncan was at a Waffle House in Prattville, Alabama, with his mother, Ava Faulk, when he suddenly noticed a disheveled man outside the restaurant.

“We saw a man who was dirty holding a bag with his bike outside,” Faulk recounted to WBTV (video interview shown below). Duncan began to wonder why the man was outside by himself, appearing the way he did.

“He’s homeless,” Faulk explained. “What does that mean?” Duncan responded.

“And I said, ‘Well, that means he doesn’t have a home,’” Faulk told reporters.

“Where is his house? Where is his family? Where does he keep his groceries?” the little boy began asking.

Duncan was so stunned by the man’s situation that he begged his mother to buy him a meal. She listened, and invited ghe man inside the restaurant to eat.

“He came in and sat down, and nobody really waited on him,” Faulk said. “So Josiah jumped up and asked him if he needed a menu because you can’t order without one.” According to Faulk, the man originally just asked for a cheap hamburger, but she quickly insisted that he get whatever he wanted. He then asked if he could have bacon. “And I told him get as much bacon you want,” she said.

When the man got his food, Duncan said he wanted to do something special with him before he took the first bite.

“I wanted to say the blessing with him,” Duncan said.

“The man cried. I cried. Everybody cried,” Faulk said.

“You never know who the angel on Earth is, and when the opportunity comes you should never walk away from it,” she added. “Watching my son touch the 11 people in that Waffle House tonight will be forever one of the greatest accomplishments as a parent I’ll ever get to witness.”

Sources: Daily MailWBTV

Photo Credit: Facebook, WBTV, Ava Faulk

Tags: Alabama, Boy, homeless, Man, video
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Here’s What This Chick-Fil-A Owner Did When A Homeless Man Walked In (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

An Alabama Chick-fil-A owner is getting national attention for giving a seemingly homeless man a free meal and some gloves to help keep warm in the frigid Birmingham, Alabama, weather.

The man reportedly entered the restaurant this past Wednesday carrying what seemed like everything he owned. “My son and I were at the location on Highway 280 in Birmingham, AL,” witness Andrea Stoker said on Facebook, “when a man came in to escape the 35 degree temps and strong winds with all of his earthly possessions strapped to his back.”

While other restaurants might have asked him to leave, the Chick-fil-A’s owner, Mark Meadows, approached him and began a conversation.

“Yesterday at around 3:30 p.m. a gentleman walked in–I don’t know if he is homeless or not–but he walked up to me and asked if there was anything he could do to earn a little food,” Meadows told AL.com on Thursday. “I asked him if he had a pair of gloves because he kept rubbing his hands together.”

Meadows subsequently instructed an employee to prepare a meal for the man, and then gave him his own pair of gloves. “Most businesses would force him out,” Stoker wrote.

After Stoker wrote about the gesture on the company’s Facebook page, responses began pouring in from around the country. “I know the man and his family…..they are awesome Godly family. Mark is a perfect example of the hands and feet of Christ,” Facebook user Robin Cook commented. “Truett Cathy would be proud of this manager/owner,” another commenter, Larry Carruthers, said.

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time that Meadows has gained national acclaim for a good deed. In January of last year, he distributed hundreds of sandwiches and thousands of chicken biscuits to drivers stuck in the severe snow and ice storm that hit Birmingham and surrounding areas, and left traffic at a dead stop.

Meadows said he was not expecting his generosity to garner so much attention.

“I just did the right thing,” he said. “I’m simply awe struck about all this attention.”

Meadows, who is reportedly a relative of Chick-fil-A owner Truett Cathy, said incidents like the one that went viral happen at his restaurant regularly, and he always strives to lend a hand when he’s able to.

“I did what anyone should do.”

Sources: KATV, AL.com / Photo Credit: AL.com, katv.com

Tags: Alabama, Birmingham, Chick-fil-A, homeless, Mark Meadows
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