I need to feed my family is the come-on line muggers use. They act like a panhandler to get their victims to pull out their wallets begging for money. Then it’s easier to grab the wallet, knock down the victim and get away. In Philly the alternative method was for the mugger to carry a razor. After they knock the victem down they cut open the pocket containing your wallet (or all pockets) with the razor.
Like Malgus said (right now) there are plenty of free ways to get food, this guy was repeating his old line.