One man has turned his hobby into a charitable effort to combat hunger.
Jerry Ascione began extreme couponing in 2002 when he was an assistant manager at Walgreens. He noticed that a coupon in a local paper was worth more than the price he set on that item, and when he gave the coupon to a friend, he discovered that the store would pay out the monetary difference.
He’s been scouring the papers and websites for deals ever since. While there are plenty of coupons he could use, he has his own criteria for going for these deals. Saving a couple bucks on an item just won’t cut it. He only does freebies or “moneymaker deals” (in which stores pay him for items) so he can distribute the proceeds to the homeless.
“I’m not a hoarder,” he explained. “You know, there’s a big difference. I don’t hoard anything. I either use it or give it away.”
He filled his car with water bottles and crackers and took the cameraman along for the ride. He’s been around these stores with his coupons so often that many of the store managers recognize him and know that he’s donating the food.
Ascione wanted to show people how they can make a change with just one item.
“I just give it away ’cause hunger’s a problem,” Ascione said. “It’s an epidemic. Everyone just pushes it off. No one wants to deal with it, which you realize, there’s people that are hungry out there, man.”
He recalled a recent incident in which one recipient shared his food with a friend before eating it himself and noted that people are still willing to pay it forward. It doesn’t matter what their situation in life is. If people are hungry, Ascione will feed them.
Once he arrived, he started delivering the water and crackers to people he met around Coral Springs, Fl. He walked up to some people; others came to him. No matter what brought them there, everyone had one thing in common: They were grateful for Ascione’s kindness and the food he gave them.
Photo via Jerry Ascione/YouTube