The Sangha, or Buddhist leaders & teachers, are reliant on their community for everything, even their meals. Each day, groups of monks go out into the community to collect alms (food offerings) from lay people's homes. This tradition has been practiced for thousands of years.
The modern method is to load up monks, assistants and lots of plastic containers into the back of a truck and drive to nearby neighborhoods. A man walks ahead of the group with a loudspeaker announcing their presence.
The monks must walk barefoot and each carry special alms bowls to collect cooked rice. This is mostly symbolic now as the majority of offerings of raw produce, pre-packaged or pre-cooked foods is gathered by assistants (also barefoot) and loaded onto the truck. Many people also give cash offerings.
I'm not so used to walking barefoot on rocky and/or dirt roads. Apparently it was noticeable enough that one of the younger assistants giggled and told me "You walk like monkey." I had to laugh, too.
I kinda like this ritual because it keeps the community more connected. It's definitely an experience my mind - and my feet - won't soon forget!