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  • He was wearing a sandwich board that said London Food Bank. He pointed people to another food bank volunteer inside the Metro, who was handing out paper bags to fill with non-perishable donations.

    This is smart, I thought. I took the bag offered to me, and started my weekly shopping.

    There was a list on the side of the bag, of suggested items to donate. Canned meat and fish, canned soup, canned vegetables and fruit, rice, evaporated milk, baby food, boxes of macaroni and cheese.

    Another food bank volunteer stood waiting by the exit. I asked him where I should take my full paper bag. I think what I really said was, Where does this go?

    It goes to the food bank, he replied.

    I have to take it to the food bank? My face fell in shock.

    No, we have a truck outside. I can take it for you.

    The cashier wore a brace on her right wrist, and struggled to lift the bag. The food bank volunteer thanked me and took the bag away.

    All the rest of the food on the conveyor - the food that was mine, the food that I was taking home for my own meals - was produce. Bags of juicing oranges, apples and grapes. Buckets of greens. Bunches of bananas. Avocados, fresh ginger, and a pineapple. $100 of fruit and vegetables.

    I watched the volunteer watching me load up my green bins. I wanted to tell him that all my clothes - everything except my underwear and wool socks - were secondhand. Even my Columbia down jacket and blue pashmina scarf. As if to make up for my extravagant diet.

    The cats welcomed me home, looking for green things to chew.
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