If riffling through garbage isn’t your thing, try making a friend who works the closing shift at a supermarket or restaurant – it’s amazing what you can get if you ask nicely. Otherwise, you can simply eat leftover food from the tables of strangers. This technique works particularly well at pizzerias, where people leave behind untouched slices of pie.
Another way to score a free meal is to take a trip to your neighborhood soup kitchen. Although you’ll literally be taking food from the mouths of the homeless, soup kitchens rarely ask questions (just make sure to wear something old and shabby). Similarly, if your income is low enough, you could apply for food stamps or subscribe to a local food bank (which, unless you are actually impoverished, may require a few white lies).
If you don’t want to further deprive the already destitute, you could consider attending local events/establishments that offer free food (such as open houses, art/film exhibitions, conferences/seminars, banks, etc.). Church functions are especially notorious for providing free food. Just slap on your Jesus peace, bust out your yarmulke or grab your Quran (or don’t, because a true religious group will accept you regardless of your beliefs). If you stick around until the function dies down, you can usually finagle some leftover food for later. Wait until the event has ended and offer to help ‘clean up’. Say that you hate seeing things go to waste and ask people if they want anything to take home. They will usually decline (or take a few small items), allowing you to have your way with the remaining loot.
If you are really confident in your appetite, you could partake in an eating competition. Some are held for free at carnivals and county fairs. Others can be found at specific restaurants (especially ones offering spicy wings . . . if you can handle the heat). Regarding the latter, make sure that you can actually finish the meal, otherwise the payment can be steep!
Samples at supermarkets can make nice snacks, but they hardly constitute a meal. So if it’s breakfast time and your belly’s rumbling, stroll into a hotel that provides a complimentary breakfast. Many hotel breakfasts are tantamount to all-you-can-eat buffets. All you need is the courage and confidence to sidle in and start eating. Because the hospitality industry is extremely customer-centric, you will rarely, if ever, be harassed or accosted in any way.