PHOTOS: They Give To Others Even Though They Barely Have Enough To Feed Their Family

Since Salman Khan Rashid lost his job as a golf coach at a Mumbai sports club during the pandemic, he’s been rationing food and some days eats only one meal. Yet he considers himself one of the «lucky» ones.

Although he doesn’t have much, he gives food and money to the people he sees begging on the streets. «I believe in giving to people who have nothing and are destitute,» he says.


Goats and Soda
The New Faces Of Pandemic Food Insecurity: Hungry, Worried … Yet Generous

That kind of generosity can be found in many of the individuals and families who we profiled in our special report, «The New Faces of Pandemic Food Insecurity: Hungry, Worried … Yet Generous.» Although they have been struggling to put food on the table as a result of the pandemic, their desire to help others has not waned – and they’re still finding ways to share what they have with others.

Read the stories below — and read more stories about food insecurity in the pandemic here. — Malaka Gharib

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Yroné Camelia Araujo Barreto, a 50-year-old Venezuelan migrant living in Quito, Ecuador. She is eating a traditional Venezuelan dish of cachapa, round dough made from corn, filled with pork. She typically eats two meals a day if she’s lucky enough to afford it but says she’ll give money or some food to others in need.

Yolanda Escobar Jimenez for NPR


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Barreto, left, dances with her granddaughter in the kitchen. She lives with her son, daughter-in-law and their two kids. Even though the family is having a tough time, Barreto says she tries to look for ways to be happy. «When I cook cachapas, I turn on my Venezuelan music and start cooking, dancing and remembering my country.»

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Barreto and her family receive weekly donations of vegetables and grains from charity groups. Before the pandemic, the family had a balanced diet, she says they could buy meat and fish on a daily basis. Now that’s a once-a-week treat.

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Lloyd Abshier, 70, waits for a drive-through food distribution event to begin in Columbia, Tenn. He arrived over two hours early to get food for his wife and two kids. Despite the hard times, he recently gave $30 to an elderly man in need: «I can’t see no one go hungry.»

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Volunteers with the nonprofit groups One Generation Away and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee load up cars with shopping carts full of donated food.

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Abshier and his family have not changed their eating habits too much over the past few months, he says. But they’ve definitely been eating a lot more ramen noodles because the prices of food at his usual grocery stores have become «outrageous,» he adds – especially the price of meat.

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Abshier stands outside his car after receiving groceries from the food bank. The items include milk, yogurt, cherry tomatoes, bread, eggs, bok choy, cabbages, grapes and mini cherry pies.

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Salman Khan Rashid, 24, right, and his mother, Sana Rashid, at home. Salman lost his job as a golf coach at a Mumbai sports club during the pandemic. The household, which includes Salman’s three sisters, is now surviving on savings. But when he’s able, he’ll give a little money or food to others facing food insecurity.

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Salman’s typical lunch: one piece of Indian bread and one curried potato.

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The Rashid family home is a garage converted into an apartment. A curtain separates the kitchen from the living area.

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The Rashid family home is a garage converted into an apartment. A curtain separates the kitchen from the living area.

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Despite Rashid’s increasingly dire situation, he recognizes his family is lucky. «Even with the little I have, I believe in giving to people who have nothing and are destitute,» he says. And when he is able, he gives a little food or a bit of money to people in need.

Photos and reporting by Viraj Nayar

Additional credits

Yolanda Escobar Jimenez is part of the Everyday Projects community, contributing to Instagram accounts from countries in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, North America and Europe. Visuals edited by Ben de la Cruz, Ian Morton and Nicole Werbeck. Text by Suzette Lohmeyer. Text edited by Malaka Gharib and Marc Silver. Special thanks to Caroline Drees, senior director for field safety and security at NPR.

Let us know what you think of this story. Email goatsandsoda@npr.org with your feedback with the subject line «Food Insecurity.»

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