Jesus of Nazareth fed a crowd of thousands with two fish and five loaves of bread.
Short of inventing a food replicator a la the Star Trek series, humans can’t duplicate Jesus’ miracle, but we can find inventive ways to feed the hungry.
What if you could feed 150 people with only $20? (And no, we’re not talking about Ramen packs here; we’re talking real food.)
More people would probably spread the joy of food to the homeless and hungry if food were so cheap, right?
But a few people around the United States found a way to make their money go farther when feeding the poor.
It’s called extreme couponing and it’s not just for the obsessive penny pincher anymore.
Lauren Puryear Plans to Feed 30,000
Before Lauren Puryear of Woodbridge, Virginia began extreme couponing, she fed the poor with donations and her own pocket money.
She ran a non-profit called For the Love of Others and the money they had wasn’t enough to do the good they wanted to do.
But ever since she and her non-profit adopted extreme couponing, they’ve made donations go farther.
How much farther?
From September 2016 to March 2017 she fed 26,000 people with only $500. That’s getting pretty close to the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
And it seems like Lauren Puryear is going to make and exceed her goal of feeding 30,000 by September 14th, 2017 (her 30th birthday).
You might think that extreme couponing would take all of Lauren’s time during the week. But it’s actually a rather short affair.
Lauren only spends about 5-10 hours a week snipping out coupons.
Of course, she recruits family and friends to help, but for an activity that feeds thousands of people each month, you can’t beat that time commitment cost.
Other People Extreme Couponing to Feed the Poor
Other organizations took note of Lauren Puryear’s success.
The southern branch of the New Jersey Community Food Bank is trying their luck with extreme couponing in Atlantic City.
And the Touch Feeding Ministry in Asbury run by a Reverend William Williams III also took on the practice for their program.
Jerry Ascione of Coral Springs, FL hit upon extreme couponing back in 2002.
He noticed a coupon for Walgreens (his place of employment) in a local free classifieds paper that was worth more than the price of the item. He realized the store policy was to pay out the difference at checkout.
This was when he had the brilliant idea to give the money and the goods he obtained with these “moneymaker deals” to the homeless.
He now drives around handing out free food, water, and money during his time off. He sees hunger as an epidemic in our country and he wants to do something about it.
And by doing so, his faith in humanity has soared. He recalls one time when he gave someone food and they shared it with a friend before digging in themselves.
You Too Can Feed the Hungry
While extreme couponing might be the most cost-saving way to feed the hungry, you don’t have to be an extreme couponer to do so.
It just takes seeing someone in need and filling that need.
So, go and give. Your life will never be the same.