Hunger Challenge 2010

5 Sep

September is Hunger Action Month. About 36 million Americans go hungry everyday- 12 million are children. Food Outreach is a wonderful organization in St. Louis that provides nutrition services to low-income people with HIV, AIDS, and cancer. They provide nutrition counseling, groceries, homemade meals, and home delivery to their clients. Every September Food Outreach holds the Hunger Challenge. Participants choose seven days in September to grocery shop and eat as if they were in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the government food stamp program. Food Outreach clients who receive food stamps have about $28 to spend per week. This year I am participating in the challenge and my seven days starts tomorrow. I must grocery shop and feed myself on $28 for the week. I volunteered  for the Hunger Challenge because someday I may be providing nutritional advice to clients that use food stamps and I need to understand the reality of their economic situation. I also hope to bring awareness to the very real issue of hunger in America. I’ve mentioned several times on the blog that eating on the cheap is a priority for me, but $4 per day is pretty extreme.

I unintentionally had a day full of “last suppers” today- really great food. Although my challenge doesn’t start until tomorrow, I couldn’t help but think about whether or not what I ate today would fly on food stamps. The answer was almost always no. No Kaldi’s coffee. No Local Harvest brunch. No Chill frozen yogurt. No after-dinner Coronas. I haven’t even started the challenge and I am already very thankful for my delicious food life.

I also did my grocery shopping for the week today. I decided on two stops- Trader Joe’s and Schnucks. I did some heavy meal planning prior to leaving the house. I realize that I already have an incredible advantage because I have the time, desire, and nutrition knowledge to sit down and plan my meals for the week- fully utilizing every item. I also have a car and I’m not sick. While dealing with cancer or HIV/AIDS, many clients have to take several buses to get to a grocery store.

My grand total for the week is $27.48. I did pretty darn good. I’ll be back tomorrow night with a recap of day one. I was asked to write about my experience on the Food Outreach blog too. You can find that blog here.

Take action this month to bring awareness to domestic hunger. Volunteer, donate food, or take the Hunger Challenge with me!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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One Response to “Hunger Challenge 2010”

  1. emily September 6, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    best wishes for your hunger challenge! can’t wait to hear more about the details. $4/day is pretty hard to do!

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