A bystander snapped a photo of the heartwarming moment and shared it on Twitter. The person wrote that the woman was being held by security in a Whole Foods, accused of having food in her bag that she didn't pay for.
Then three officers showed up to the scene.
"She told me she was hungry," Lt. Louis Sojo told reporters.
And then they went above and beyond the call of duty.
"We decided to say, 'We'll pay for her food,'" Sojo said.
The photo showed her with her hands over her face, clearly overwhelmed by the officers' kindness.
"She was extremely emotional, she couldn't speak. When you look at someone's face and you notice they're actually hungry, it's pretty difficult as a human being to walk away from something like that," Sojo said.
NYPD Chief Terance Monahan commended the do-gooders, tweeting, "Cops like Lt. Sojo and Officers Cuevas and Rivera of the Strategic Response Group are the kind-hearted cops who quietly do good deeds for New Yorkers in need."