CalFresh Challenge: Day Five

Yaceth Virgen
Today was the first time I went grocery shopping since the Challenge started. The first time I had spent $43.00 and this time I just purchased items that would complete a meal. I spent only $9.99 on four bell peppers and ground turkey. I feel as though I overspent on these few items. My day got off to a bad start; I packed my oatmeal that I had made in the morning but forgot to pack last night’s left-overs meal that was supposed to be my lunch during work hours. Then, I got home from work and noticed that I forgot to leave out our frozen chicken to defrost during the day. Feeling hungry and disappointed I made a quick visit to our nearby grocery store.
Throughout the Challenge we have tried to maintain a healthy eating pattern due to the fact we have a one year old we must nurture with good food, but also I am still a nursing mom whose proper food intake is vital.  Instead of choosing tofu or soy that is high in protein and is cheaper for today’s meal, we chose ground turkey. I do feel that we are eating a healthy, balanced diet but it is a challenge to maintain it throughout the week. Particularly, when you are feeling exhausted when you are home from work and your energy level is at its lowest point. All you want to eat is something comforting.
Meal 5: Pieces of whole wheat bread spread with black beans, steamed vegetables, and ground turkey for my daughter. Stuffed ground turkey bell peppers with steamed vegetables and black beans on the side.
Luisa Hudspeth
What can I say that I have not said already, the meals are still the same ingredients, the same choices with the same taste. The difference today, I really was having a hard time getting out of bed, keeping focus and with not much energy. I noticed that I was forgetting what I was planning to do. It is very stressful to function properly when the body does not have at least some balance of nutrients. I do not want to sound like I do not appreciate to have something to eat, definitely I’m grateful for it but it is hard to repeat over and over the same food for days.

Breakfast: I had two boiled eggs and a cup of coffee.

Lunch: Spaghetti and beans.

Dinner: A bowl of cereal.

“It is a blessing to have food but kind of disappointing when I don’t have many options for my meals”


Sandra Varela

The Snap Challenge has really been an eye opener for me just to think that there are people who live like this and have to deal with food insecurity that is just horrible. This is day five of the Snap Challenge and I have realized that I do not have enough food to get me through the rest of the challenge. I found myself thinking what am I going to do? Should I skip meals? But then I thought I can’t skip any meals I am already hungry and my body and brain can’t seem to function.

I decided to go to one of our agencies, Loaves & Fishes, where they prepare hot meals daily for anyone who needs it. They made me feel very welcome and provided me with a plate that made my mouth water just looking at it and smelling it. I was so happy and felt very blessed to have a full meal in front of me. I know I am not eating a nutritious balanced meal. I am eating a lot of veggies but my protein intake is low. I went to my local food bank, Second Harvest, and asked for emergency food because I wasn’t going to have enough to make another meal.  They provided me with fresh fruits and vegetables and also with staple items such as beans, rice, cooking oil and other canned goods. For the first time in five days I had a piece of fruit, which made me so happy. The challenge has been very hard with the budget I have, you can’t cook a nutritious balanced meal. If you don’t think things through well, you will end up eating unhealthy cheap foods which are not good for your body and health.


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