Don’t Do This In Retirement.

dumpster diving
Caught in the act. Elderly man dumpster diving but sped away in his car when he saw me.

As I was turning the corner at my grocery store parking lot, I saw this elderly man, in full search mode, slouched over an open dumpster. He was pulling out nasty looking, filthy food products and tossing them into his car. When he saw me, he immediately stopped what he was doing, jumped into his car and sped away. We both knew what he was doing, wasn’t good. For whatever his reasons, diving into a supermarket dumpster, in order to find food to eat, shouldn’t be on a retiree’s agenda.

Folks, if you don’t have enough money to buy clean, healthy food, try first to go to your local pantry or church shelter to get it. If you qualify, apply for food stamps too. The guidelines for the elderly to receive food stamps has been lessened lately to ease your pain. No one wants to ever see someone go hungry. But also, no one, me included, wants to see an elderly person scavenge for food in a dumpster. Usually when I see people dumpster diving, they’ve got an abandoned shopping cart by their side and they’re shabbily dressed. The gentlemen in my photo was well dressed and driving a late model, car.

Apparently, his retirement planning didn’t turn out quite right. I can only imagine the shame he must be feeling to stoop so low as to raid supermarket dumpsters for his next meal. Who knows if he has a wife waiting for him at home also?

Don’t let this be you in your retirement. One of my greatest retirement fears, besides running out of money, is that I will run out of food. Because of this fear,I think when I do go food shopping, I over buy and over stock up. I would have had no problem speaking with this gentleman and either share my shopping bounty with him right there and then or at least give him a few bucks and have him go into the supermarket and buy fresh food for himself and his family.

Nobody in America should go hungry!


  1. Crazy, but without the full story one can only guess why. So perhaps he sold his stocks at a lost when we had the volatile markets of February or his wife past away and lost one of his Social Security checks which was sorely needed, or he can’t afford food for his pets. We had a neighbor who had chickens and wanted all of her neighbors spoiled produce to supplement their diet.
    I keep my food pantry stock too. But perishables I try to buy only what I can use. Lara


    • My husband said the same thing too: maybe he was dumpster diving for his pets. really? That’s what you feed your pets? Garbage?
      Nope. The guy was there for himself. No doubt about it. He was hungry and he needed food. Sad. Very, very sad.


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