A man followed a homeless person with a hidden camera to see how he spent his money.

It's never good to generalize any group of people.

Recently, signs like this popped up in downtown Sarasota, Florida. They say "Don't give in to panhandling. 93% of the money you give goes to drugs and alcohol."


Shortly thereafter, this video came out purportedly showing how a homeless man spent $100 he was given.

It's a scene you've probably seen a gagillion times (which is a gagillion times too many). A homeless man is asking for help on the side of the road, and finally an empathetic passerby offers money. Only this time it's not just $1 or $2 ... he gives the homeless man $100!


Touched, the homeless man (whose name is Thomas) hugs Josh (the other dude) and they part ways.

Josh has his film crew start following Thomas.

(Which, for the record — whether or not this is real or staged — is super creepy and very exploitative, but the end result is worth talking about).

And they spend the day following him.

They follow him to a liquor/convenience store where Thomas purchases some goods.

When Thomas opens his shopping bag, he reveals food he purchased for other people in need.

He did not offer food to just one group either.

Finally, Josh lets Thomas know that he's been following him to see how he'd spend the $100.

(Again, creepy. But the overall point of the video is worth a conversation.)

Thomas explains that a couple of years ago he lost his job, he took care of his sick parents (who died), and then he lost his home.

He says many homeless people were working and for one reason or another, they found themselves on the street.

One of the most eye-opening parts of the video is at 3:20, when the homeless man explains what brought him to his circumstance.

We are only as strong as our weakest link. So let's empathize with each other.

Again, whether or not this video was real or staged, it's cold in many parts of the country right now, and if you see someone asking for money, maybe remember Thomas and the other men, women, and children who could use a boost. Let's not assume what someone is going to buy with our money, and let's not make it our responsibility to judge what people buy. It's a good time of year to be giving.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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