In November 2013, the government will cut SNAP benefits for all recipients. These cuts will be $36 for a family of four, dropping the average benefit per person per meal to under $1.40.
I had ease of mind when it came to my budget. We felt we could stretch out our budget to last us for seven days but we also restrained from overbuying food. We thought about our meals for the week, we made it work so that we had leftovers for lunch the next day, and ate the same breakfast of oatmeal the entire week. We were still able to have good healthy meals on the table.
It would have been devastating to our family if we had less money to spend on food. Honestly, I became a different person knowing that I was limited to my usual food consumption. It would have devastated in every aspect of my life and the members of my family. Knowing first hand now that being hungry interferes with your concentration, mood, and your ability to function on a daily basis.
This challenge wasn’t to prove that we can live off $4.50 a day; this challenge was to spark awareness. Hunger is still seen as a taboo in our country. As a CalFresh Outreach worker, I can say that we even see it in the individuals who even apply for the benefits. Some of the individuals have even hesitated for years until they decide to finally sign up for the program. It takes away the stress and gives them peace of mind knowing that they can have access to food. Having Americans lose access or have a reduction to the vital Federal Program like SNAP, will only add an additional strain on already limited resources for individuals and families.
I DID IT!
This morning, as every weekend, I had my grandson over. As usual, he wanted to have breakfast early. It was hard to get up and cook something different that I could not eat myself. Then I realized how difficult it must be for those moms that have to stop eating in order to provide what they have to their kids. What kind of strength those moms must have to fulfill their family’s needs. I was asking myself, how can they function? What kind of energy and stress do they have to deal with? All these questions arise after my grandson finished eating what I cooked for him and asked me what I prepared for myself. He asked if he could have some of my food. Of course, how could you deny sharing some of your food with your child? I’m glad this is the last day of this challenge. It has giving me not just stress, headaches and low energy, but understanding. It has increased my interest in belonging to a group that cares about those families that are struggling with food insecurity. Ending hunger and malnutrition it’s a must!
For breakfast, I had some chicken with a boil potato.
I had spaghetti and beans with a little bit of chicken
I had a bowl of cereal. “Again”
“It is a blessing to have food but kind of disappointing when I don’t have many options for my meals”