Boston Cop Pays For Single Mum’s Groceries As A Thank You For Being Front Line Worker

by : Cameron Frew on : 02 Apr 2020 18:58


A front line key worker sat outside a grocery store, crying, unable to afford food for her family. Fortunately, a police officer stepped in. 

Boston Police Officer Ben Peguero was finishing his shift when he passed Jennifer Velazquez, sitting sobbing on the pavement outside the Star Market at the Prudential Center.


The 37-year-old mum-of-three wouldn’t say what was wrong at first. However, she eventually confessed that she’d tried to buy groceries for her family, when her card was declined at the checkout. Peguero, who has been in the force for less than a year, wouldn’t let it stand.

Officer Peguero Buys Groceries For Key Worker 2NBC Boston

Velazquez works at the airport, working in a high-risk environment amid the global outbreak. She told Boston25News: ‘My job is my only source of income. One of my biggest concerns was [my kids] don’t have enough to eat when I’m not there.’

She added:


I’m at the checkout line, and my card isn’t going through. All I could do at this point is sit outside and cry. This gentleman comes along asked if I was ok. I see a Boston police uniform, [and] I’m thinking I’m in trouble. I’m crying and coughing.

Alas, Peguero was there to help. He ‘felt bad for her’, so he took her back inside the store, filled a trolley with lots of food and forked out $225 of his own money to pay for it. Now, her children will remain well-fed during isolation.

Officer Peguero Buys Groceries For Key Worker 3NBC Boston

The officer explained to NBC Boston: ‘I felt bad for her and I’m just glad that I was in a position to help her, honestly. What really brought me to be a police officer – I enjoy helping people. I really get satisfaction out of it.’


Talking more about Velazquez’s reaction, Peguero added: ‘She got so excited and asked for a hug, [but] with everything going around this time, I was like, hesitant.’ Velazquez said: ‘I’m sorry, I know I can’t touch you, but can I touch you? I want to hug and squeeze you so bad.’

Across the US, there have been more than 225,000 cases of the virus – globally, the figure stands at more than 981,000 at the time of writing. In response to low-income families’ struggles to feed themselves amid today’s struggles, Leonardo DiCaprio has helped to co-found America’s Food Fund – dedicated to helping communities impacted by the virus.

If you would like to donate to the charity – currently, it’s $3 million away from its target – you can visit its GoFundMe page here.


It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, Boston, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Police Officer


NBC Boston and 1 other
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  2. Boston25News

    BPD officer helps single mother struggling during COVID-19 pandemic pay for grocery haul