Many states are boosting their food stamp funding as more and more people are finding themselves in need of food assistance due to the coronavirus pandemic , which has forced people into unemployment.
But for some families, that assistance just isn’t enough.
While we’re being asked to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of coronavirus, many low-income families on food stamps have no choice but to go to leave their homes to go the store .benefits.gov Source: benefits.gov
Many stores don’t accept food stamps on their online shopping orders and lower-income families can’t afford to stock up all at once so they have to keep going to the grocery store.
It’s a difficult enough experience to have to go to the grocery store as it is nowadays.
But it’s even worse to not have enough food stamps to pay for your food when you get there.Pixabay Source: Pixabay
It caused Jennifer Velazquez, a 37-year-old mother of three, to have an emotional breakdown.
She is an essential worker who lives paycheck to paycheck and is putting her life on the line to continue working at an airport, which is a higher risk environment .
Star Market Source: Star Market
“My job is my only source of income,” Velazquez told Boston 25 News . “One of my biggest concerns was [my kids] don’t have enough to eat when I’m not there.”
So, that’s why she was brought to tears on the sidewalk outside of Star Market at the Prudential Center in Boston.
Velaquez filled up her grocery cart, but her cards were declined.
She thought her coronavirus stimulus check would have been deposited by now but it hadn’t, according to Boston 25.
“All I could do is go outside and cry,” she told Boston Country 102.5 .
Officer Ben Peguero had just finished up his shift detail when he found Velazquez crying on the sidewalk.
“This gentleman comes along asked if I was ok, I see a Boston police uniform [and] I’m thinking I’m in trouble, I’m crying and coughing,” she recalls.
BPD officer helps single mother struggling during COVID-19 pandemic pay for grocery haulAfter witnessing a single…
But Peguero didn’t ask Velazquez to leave. Instead, he offered to buy her some groceries.
She initially refused, but he insisted.
She agreed to go inside and just grab a few things to tide her over.Kira Tamaki Source: Kira Tamaki
But when they walked into the grocery saw Peguero saw the cart full of groceries that Velazquez had left earlier.
“I felt bad for her and I told her, ‘Come in with me, we will go in and grab some things,’” said Peguero. “When I approached the cashier, I could see cereal, and items kids like to eat.”
#92/366 Grateful for the helpers, the heroes, the fearless on the frontlines like @BostonPolice Officer Ben Peguero. He saw a #Boston mom in tears because she couldn’t buy her grocoeries, so the rookie officer bought them for her! #Gratitude2020
Posted by Susan Tran NBC10 Boston on Wednesday, April 1, 2020
He ended up paying for about $200 worth of groceries for Velazquez.
“I’m just glad that I was in a position to help her,” Peguero said. “That’s why we join the job, you know?”
Velazquez was exceedingly grateful for Peguero’s assistance.
Boston Police Department Source: Boston Police Department
“I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, I know I can’t touch you, but can I touch you? I want to hug and squeeze you so bad,’” said Velazquez.
“She got so excited and asked for a hug, [but] with everything going around this time, I was like, hesitant,” said Peguero.
But that wasn’t a good idea. Instead, Velazquez came up with a great way to pay it forward.Boston Police Department Source: Boston Police Department
She says she will make dinner for three other people who can’t afford to eat right now. That’s her way of giving back. Learn more about this act of kindness in the video below.
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