Dumpster Diving As an Act of Faith

Gio Andollo looks for food in the dumpsters outside Morton WIlliams Supermarket in New York. RNS photo by Sarah Pulliam Bailey

As a musician barely scraping by, Gio Andollo looks to trash bins as a way of life.

On a recent outing, he carefully untied bags outside a supermarket next to Columbia University. He likes this market because it uses clear plastic bags, making it easier to spot bread, fruits, vegetables, and other treasures.

“We can use our instincts about these things and usually they’re OK,” he said. “You can always clean it well and cook it. You can make sure you’ll at least survive.”

Dumpster Diving As An Act Of Faith

Sojourners, a Christian magazine dedicated to social justice, featured Dumpster diving on its cover in 2006, motivating Micah Holden to begin trying it a year later. Now he lives with his wife and daughter in Wheaton, Ill., where they occasionally blog about being a Dumpster diving family in suburbia. Holden, who is a nurse, said his motivations to go once or twice a week are mixed.