Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Food Stamp Challenge

June is Hunger Awareness Month and I am taking part in a mini version of the Food Stamp Challenge.  The full challenge is to eat as healthy as possible on $3.70 a day for all 3 meals per person in your family.  I know it would be really hard for me to do all 3 meals for a week and so I decided to do one meal a day for 7 days.

I went to WalMart on Saturday to get the items for my daily meal.  Walking through the store thinking about what I was going to get was interesting.  I had to really think about what I could make last for 7 days and I tried to get as healthy as possible.  Now... I did not get the healthiest our there, but I did make some different choices than I normally would have.

Here is what I got...
Loaf of Whole Grain Wheat Bread : 2.48
Whole Grain Pringles: 1.50
Bag of Baby Carrots : 1.38
Crunchy Peanut Butter : 1.88
I already had jelly at home so I factored that in to my list as well.
And I always drink water and from the tap it is "basically free."

Here is what I have learned so far...
1) I don't ever think about rationing what I have.  As I have had to stick to just these things for the meal it has really taken thought to make sure that it all lasts for 7 days.  So with the pringles and carrots I have had to  count them out.  Typically I just dump as much as I think I want on my plate and off I go.
2) It takes planning and forethought to make sure that I am prepared for my meal.  The other day I was eating this for lunch.  So I got it all packed up in the morning and then I headed out.  I did not get to the office until after 1:00pm.  So I had to take my lunch bag in with me everywhere I went because it could not stay in the car.  In this crazy heat it would have gotten NASTY!  And then tonight as I was heading home, I would have preferred to just stop in and grab something somewhere, but knew I needed to come home and have my sandwich.
3) I like variety.  I think I am going to be tired of this meal by the end of the week.  I don't usually eat the same thing twice in a handful of days if I can help it.  And WOW, that is such a luxury.
4) I do spend a lot of money on food.  I typically eat out as most of the time I am meeting people or on my way somewhere.  And I am just not a big fan of cooking and I do think it is hard to cook for one person because you do end up with a TON of leftovers.  It is a good reminder of the blessing of where I am in life, but also to not take that for granted.
5) I always have enough food.  So far with this meal I have found myself somewhat hungry quicker than usual.  I think I typically eat more than what I am eating in this meal.  I also typically eat as much as I want and for sure until I am full.  And it has been such a great reminder when I am hungry to remember and pray for those who are dealing with this on a daily basis.

I know I did not do the food stamp challenge to the fullest, but I am really thankful for what it is teaching me and this experience so far.  I know for me it is even a luxury to get to choose to do this for 7 meals.  Most struggling with hunger do not choose it at all.

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