College Student Uses Leftover Meal Plan To Feed People In Need Before Graduating
The graduating student also received help from her TikTok followers to continue serving the community.
June 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm
The psychology student first tried to spend the 600 points by treating her friend to a steak dinner on campus. Afterward, the graduating student still had points left to spend so she bought hundreds of dollars worth of food from a campus market.
“I was like 'Maya you’re not going to eat all this food, why did you buy it, and you still have 400-something meal points,' and then I realized there are tons of people who would love to have all of this food, why don’t I give it to someone who needs it,” the young woman told FOX 2.
I did it🎉🥳🎈🎊 Now excuse me while I sleep until 2023😴💤♬ original sound - Maya
While driving around town to deliver food, along with care packages, Nepos built friendships with some of the people she helped.
“Meeting people and having a face and a name and being like, ‘Hi I’m Maya, would you like some food?’ it’s a lot more personal and it gives people a lot more hope,” she said.
One of the people she met was a 52-year-old man named Darryl, a father of two who has diabetes and is looking for employment in the service sector.
"Darryl is looking for a job, it was hard for him to contact employers without a phone," the student said, sharing that she also convinced her new friend to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"He is just the sweetest man. We had the most immediate friendship connection. We're pretty good friends now," Nepos said.
The generous student delivered necessities for two days, handing out about 80 to 100 packages in the St. Louis community. She also received help from her TikTok followers, who sent her money to create more packages after she used her meal points.
When the pandemic forced her to stay inside, the community advocate downloaded TikTok and used it to speak on social justice issues and politics.
“I was just sad and in my room, and bored, and I was like ‘I guess I’ll download this, I don’t have anything else better to do with my time now that I have so much time,’” the social media user, who now has more than 300,000 followers, told Student Life.
The activist was especially active during the 2020 presidential election.
“I have like 10 emails every two minutes in my inbox of people like, ‘Oh hey, we’re trying to get the vote out,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay me too, let’s go!’” she recalled.
Now, the advocate is focused on pushing elected officials to decriminalize homelessness.
"There is a push to criminalize homelessness, rather than give empathy in support systems. We need to decriminalize homelessness, (and) add more support systems and not more punishment systems," she said.