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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a city filled with numerous activities for the tourist, family, or citizen to participate in. From attending a local art exhibit, walking around the city for the day, to spending time with fellow Philadelphia inhabitants, there are innumerable different ways to enjoy a typical day in the city of “brotherly love.” Though I have been living in Philadelphia since August, I never truly realized the enjoyment one can obtain from an unplanned day walking around the city to the grocery store. A trek to the grocery store that spans two miles can be more than a pleasurable look around what the city can offer, instead, it can be a trail that leads to free food on the way.

I left my house at approximately nine AM on a Saturday morning. It was a brisk day with the weather in the high sixty-degree area; I consequently figured why not embrace this by bringing a backpack that could be later filled with groceries. However, I was in shock of what was in store. As I walked around the city toward the shopping area, I saw a nutella truck. The truck was parked outside of a local boutique, handing out large nutella jars and cookies to dip the nutella in; they even had nutella-flavored biscuits, soon to be in markets for purchase. Filled in elation and excitement, I took the nutella, my favorite chocolaty spread. After I informed the Nutella vender that I lived in with five other roommates, he eagerly gave me a whole case. My north face extra support backpack had gone to good storage use. I didn’t know, however, more was in store as I trailed to get my groceries.

As I continued going to the grocery store, I saw another truck for a yogurt company called “Muller.” This company is native of Germany. Being an avid yogurt eater and enthusiast, I was happy to see them come to my new city all the way from across the Atlantic Ocean. My friends and roommates deam me a “schmoozer,” meaning I speak very much to strangers; I embraced this nickname and went to speak with the Muller salesperson. Sharing with him how delighted I was that this company ventured to Philadelphia, he offered me three free cases of yogurt in two different flavors: strawberry and vanilla with almonds. That is sixty free yogurts! The yogurt he provided was enough for me and my roommates to eat breakfast for three weeks. I now had nutella and yogurt, but there was still other food journeys to be endured

I finally arrived at “Super Fresh,” the local food stop for Philadelphia residents. To my amazement, outside were two trucks: a Jimmy John’s sub company truck and Red Bull, the energy drink company. The trucks offered free subs (five or six different kinds,) and free energy drinks, respectively. I could not believe the possibilities that were in store for just a simple walk to the grocery store. I eagerly took the free food, filled in elation and excitement.

There was no more need to buy yogurt, nutella, lunch, or a drink. I now had been set for a day. I had a grocery list that was relatively small in length, but by that point of getting that much free food, I did not need to shop too much. I bough the small staples I needed such as pasta and rice, but honestly, I was all set by the amount of free food I had received.

Philadelphia is a city that is known for its food and its citizen’s care for one another. And, this day I experienced testified to the fact that I had no reason to doubt such claims. It shows the little things that individuals can appreciate in life and how everything happens when you least expect it. Planning a trip, in my case to the grocery store, can always turn out unplanned with a positive spin. I’m very excited to return to Kalamazoo from study away; my one hope is, though, MORE FREE FOOD!!!

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About Mara Richman ’15

Mara is from Florida and a psychology major. She is very involved in Psychology research and works in the admissions office as both a tour guide and student worker. She recently studied away in Philadelphia, through the program Kalamazoo College offers. Read her blog!