An unhoused hotel worker has gone viral after revealing how he brings uneaten food out of his workplace.
While a majority of homelessness is temporary, homelessness has been on the rise since 2017. “In 2022, counts of individuals (421,392 people) and chronically homeless individuals (127,768) reached record highs in the history of data collection,” reads the State of Homelessness: 2023 Edition by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Given that some studies have indicated that over 90% of unhoused people have cell phones, it’s no surprise that unhoused people have made a marked impact on TikTok. One unhoused person shared the difficulty of being told to work from home when they do not have one. The Daily Dot author Tricia Crimmins also documented how the numerous unhoused TikTok creators are shifting perceptions of homelessness on the platform.
Now, this unhoused hotel worker’s story of acquiring food on the job has inspired conversation on TikTok.
In a video with over 3.8 million views, TikTok user @fullestness says that he was told he could not take home food from his job at a hotel. Instead of bringing the food directly home, the TikToker shows his new routine, which involves putting the food he wishes to take home into a trash bag, then bringing it to the garbage. At the end of the day, he returns to the garbage area and collects his food.
“You’re not going to tell me I can’t take food,” he says in the video. “I’m literally homeless. I know they don’t know that, but f*** that—you don’t gotta know that. You’re gonna throw food out?”
In the comments section, users shared their thoughts on the TikToker’s video.
“People are so sad… that’s sad they would rather waste food then just let staff be happy and full! God Bless,” said a commenter.
“Never understood why they’d rather throw it away than let ppl take it,” added another. “I truly hope your situation improves.”
“I wish places of work would normalize giving their staff the left over food,” offered a third. “I’ve only worked one place that allowed us to take home what we wanted.”
A few users claimed to also intentionally ignore such rules.
@fullestness #fyp #fullestness #takingfood #homeless #gottadowhatyougottado #gofundme #hotel #homewood #thestruggle #working ♬ original sound – Fullest
“I used to work at a subway, they tried to tell me I couldn’t take food home, but I always made a sub before going home,” recalled a user.
“I worked at a gas station that would sell breakfast sandwiches and throw like 30 of them a day. I started giving them to a lady who would feed her fam,” claimed a second.
“Used to work for KFC and wed dump multiple buckets of chicken every day,” recounted an additional TikToker. “I ‘threw them out’ to people I knew struggling.”
We’ve reached out to the TikToker via Instagram DM.