Florida police officer pictured sharing meal with homeless man because 'nobody wants to eat alone'

Sgt Erica Hay bought  the man food and a drink and sat with him on the kerb

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A police officer has been praised by thousands online after she was pictured sitting down and sharing a meal with a homeless man.

Sgt Erica Hay brought the man some food and a drink after she saw him alone at a petrol station forecourt. She then sat with him on the kerb as they both ate their meal.

Unbeknown to the officer, who works for Ocala Police Department in Florida, a passerby who was touched by the moment took a photo of their encounter.

TiAnna Greene posted the photo on Facebook saying: “I don’t know this officer, but, I admire her today and everyday.

“Absolutely wonderful act of kindness that seemed to come naturally for her.  Although I was only blessed to witness less than 2 minutes of her kindness that definitely came from the heart, it truly made my morning!

“If anyone knows this fine officer, please let her know that she made a difference today not only in the life of this gentleman, but in the lives of everyone that she comes in contact with.”

I don't know this officer, but, I admire her today and everyday. It appeared that she purchased this gentleman's...

Posted by TiAnna S. Greene on Thursday, July 16, 2015

It has since been shared over a thousand times by users praising her act of kindess.

Sgt Hay told TODAY: “He was just there by himself alone, so I just grabbed food and went back to eat with him. Nobody wants to eat alone.

“Isolation is the worst part about being someone who is homeless. They’re isolated from everyone, and I think any type of interaction is a positive thing.”