Single mom feeds homeless for pennies

Could you feed a hot meal to a thousand people for just 20 cents a person? A Woodbridge single mother is doing just that tomorrow when she heads to D.C. To feed the homeless on Make A Difference Day.

Could you feed a hot meal to a thousand people for just 20 cents a person?

A Woodbridge single mother is doing just that on Saturday when she heads to D.C. to feed the homeless on Make A Difference Day.  

How does she do it? With coupons, store deals, a big heart and the personal drive to get it done. 

A friend picked up the best deal on chicken they could find, nearly 500 pounds for just $100.  

Throw in another $100 for the veggies, rice and drinks. The rest was free. 

A  friend's closet in a Woodbridge home is all stocked full of food and toiletries that  were free or very cheap.

It's the pantry for Lauren Puryear's organization called For The Love of Others. She started it as a tribute to her late grandmother.

"She raised us to believe that it's important to help other people," said Puryear. 

Nearly every weekend, she and her friends, make meals and feed the homeless, meeting them at tent camps in the woods or on the street.  

Puryear feels it's important to go where they are and treat them with respect and kindness.

"We Pride ourselves in going out and talking," said Puryear. "Interacting. What is it that you need? We pour into the lives of other people. Sometimes people ask for prayer. Sometimes people ask to be linked to different community resources."

They spend much of their free time during the week going grocery shopping or "couponing " as they call it.  On one trip, their cost for 500 hotdogs went from  $21.23 to just $5.23.

"I think It just hilarious! I'm just so tickled by it," said Puryear. "I think it's just absolutely hilarious!  And then I'll go and cook this food up and give it to the homeless people and have spent little to no money."

It's makes her mission to feed the homeless both affordable as well as an art they've mastered. They rely heavily on stores' promises to double coupons under $1.

"You just calculate the sale price minus the value of the coupon and that's your out-of-pocket cost," she said. 

When Puryear tuned 29 last month, she made a goal to prepare and serve 30,000 meals to homeless people by her 30th birthday in September of 2017. She's already done 7,000. She's thinking about what her next goal will be after reaching that one.

Puryear does all those good works on top of a full time job as clinical director of a facility for special needs adults. She also has a five-year-old son who is learning all about helping others.  

KTVB


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