Hunger Action Month

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In Spite of My Best Efforts...

Two days into the challenge and I've already blown it! In spite of my best efforts, I'm quite sure I will not meet the challenge but I fully intend to continue to try. Here's what's happened -

Sunday afternoon - went to my Target Superstore to buy my store brand staples: loaf of bread, jar of peanut butter, box of cereal, box of macaroni shells, jar of pasta sauce, 4 oranges @ $1 each!!!!, small brick of cheese and bag of frozen spinach leaves. My total bill was $19.53 - figured I could use the milk, jelly and eggs I had at home but if I had to buy them I would be right at the $25.Clearly I was not going to be eating very healthy - the fresh fruit and vegetables would not fit into my budget, neither did frozen or canned. Frozen spinach in a pasta dish and my 4 oranges for a week fall far short of the recommended 5 servings/day.

Monday - had several meetings - one out of town so I didn't even use any of the food I bought. So to keep from starving, I did eat the food provided at my meetings but didn't eat nearly what I would have if I weren't feeling guilty about my access to free food as part of my job. As I looked at the spreads of rolls, eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, salads, beef, potatoes, eggplant, and cheesecakes and pastries I realized that this is the food that is offered for people who work and pay to attend conferences and meetings. If the food weren't offered, most of us in attendance would stop on our way to the meeting and grab a meal to go from any number of fast food or even restaurant carryouts. I could spend my entire $25 on Starbucks some weeks and I didn't even buy coffee to make at home because I couldn't afford it.

It was really eye opening to think of how much excess food I have access to and heartbreaking to realize others are going hungry.

Tuesday - still on the road but home for dinner. I was hungry as I walked in my house but realized I had nothing to munch on from my $25 grocery supply. Veggies and dip, cheese and crackers - things I take for granted as my pre-dinner snacks, aren't affordable in this Challenge. I quickly got to work so I could eat - boiled the macaroni, heated the spinach and pasta sauce, chopped some onions but realized, they were not in my $25 purchase - another luxury of eating beyond my means. Got me to thinking - if $25 has to pay for the necessities, and knowing how expensive spices, onions, mushrooms, and garlic are - how does one make good tasting food on such a limited budget?

Still trying...Kathy Ryg

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admire your efforts and agree that it is nearly impossible to equate a healthy diet on about $3.50/day. For my first two weeks of living off campus, I set to do just that. I forwent the healthy food stores I usually go to and opted instead for the Wal-Mart Supercenter. I spent just shy of $26 dollars on staples: bread, milk, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, pasta & sauce, a couple apples, a few bananas, which left just enough for a (yes, just one) tomato. If it had not been for the free food offered from various organizations on campus, I don't think I could have made it! To make matters worse, the food offered was usually from the local pizzeria whose main ingredient seemed undoubtedly grease. Incidentally, the cost of just subsisting is just ridiculous.
-Tamara C.