In a viral TikTok, a woman spoke up after allegedly getting shamed by viewers for posting a haul of what she got at the food bank.
In the video, Angel Echávez (@mysecretinnermonologue) is visibly upset, and her eyes are watery. She shares that after posting her food bank haul, a person sent the video to her mom with a message about how Echávez is “probably doing it to get donations and pity from other people.”
“I would like to say, I am not. Why is it OK for people to share things like Trader Joe’s hauls and Whole Foods hauls and what they eat in a day, but I can’t share my own take on that,” Echávez says.
Echávez shares that she’s watched her favorite creators post their breakfast avocado toast and has always dreamed of being able to do the same. Since she can’t post content like that on her own yet due to financial constraints, she says she’s “doing it my own way.”
“Son’t be mean. I have the right to have my own way of posting my own content,” Echávez says as she wipes away tears.
@mysecretinnermonologue I wasnt even ashamed about going (nor was i proud) but now im too scared to talk about my own authentic life experiences #foodhaul #food #foodbank ♬ original sound – Angel 💖
In one of the haul videos, Echávez shares that she’s “recently recovered from being homeless” and starving. She says she swallowed her pride and started using her food bank as a helpful resource as she financially recovers.
She often gets fresh fruits and vegetables, dry goods, and beverages that she shares with her mom. Throughout the videos, Echávez expresses gratitude for being able to access food regularly from the food bank.
The viral video is nearing 1 million views and has more than 4,600 comments as of Sunday morning.
“I wasn’t even ashamed about going (nor was i proud) but now im too scared to talk about my own authentic life experiences,” Echávez wrote in the caption.
In the United States, more than 34 million people (or 10% of households), including 9 million children, in the United States are food insecure, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
People in the comments largely came to Echávez’s defense and were appalled that someone would shame her for her current circumstances.
“I found what you did really refreshing and you are in the right and opening doors and haters are gonna hate but you are great!” a top comment read.
“Do not feel shame ! watching your videos has made me feel less shame myself,” a person shared.
“Goodness, I just want to hug ya. I’m so sorry the world is so cruel and ALWAYS has something to say,” another said.
In a response via Instagram direct message, Echávez told the Daily Dot that after sharing her experiences, she’s learned that there are a lot of people even with corporate jobs and nice cars that also had to use resources like that food bank at one point.
“Modern-day poverty has no one face,” she wrote.