Quote of the Day – October 15, 2012
We are following DC Hunger Solutions’ Food Stamp Challenge this week. Here are some reflections from challenge participants as they round out their week on $30 of groceries:
Nicole Newman, Associate at Defeat Poverty D.C. This challenge has highlighted for me the way the “luxury of convenience” plays out in my own life. Not having to plan a meal, not knowing what you’re going to eat or think twice about it is a luxury those living on SNAP benefits don’t have. Some days when I know I will be gone most of the day I plan not to take my lunch and usually will grab something in between meetings because it’s easier than walking around with a bag of pre-prepared food. Its usually simple, I rotate between ROTI, CHOPT and Potbelly’s. My day goes on and I eat, never once considering it to be more than that. Not being able to buy prepared food and having to think more closely about what I am eating has been humbling.
Meleena Bowers What I’ve learned so far from my shopping expeditions is how quickly certain things become major luxuries e.g., meats, milk, in fact, anything to drink that isn’t tap water, fresh vegetables, and most fresh fruits. There is also no room for spontaneous purchases. I’ve also given up snacking and any dessert item. [...] I’ve also definitely socialized less. Additionally, I’ve devoted more time to planning my grocery list, more time to creatively using spices to mask the lack of fresh ingredients that recipes may call for, and an inordinate amount of time to scouring the food aisles looking for the cheapest, yet relatively healthy items. It has been an eye opening challenge.
Quameice Harris, Assistant to the Director, DC Department of Human Services After leaving Giant, my heart was heavy. First, what hearty meals will I be making with this random grocery list. I have to live off sandwiches, salad, rice, and oatmeal, for a treat. Who eats like this? Is this the option people are left with to survive!
Once I purchased my groceries, I was not left with enough money to even treat myself to an item off the dollar meal menu at McDonald’s. If you do, you will be left with $.35, which won’t even get you a pack of gum.
Click here to read these and other Food Stamp Challenge diaries in their entirety.