Tough Decisions in Hard Times


Thousands of people in our community are going through hard times. For some, having a hard time might mean not having enough money to buy an extra toy for their kids or an extra pair of shoes. Unfortunately, for some, it means not having enough money to buy healthy food for their kids or themselves. Healthy food is expensive and a luxury when your budget is very low.  There are other expenses that need to get paid before thinking about healthy eating.

There is a myth that people who receive CalFresh benefits don’t eat healthy. The average benefit amount for a family of four is approximately $300 dollars per month. This might seem like a lot of money in benefits, but when you break it down by individual it is a very small amount (approximately $75) to buy healthy foods and vegetables.

Throughout September, which is Hunger Action Month, we will be sharing several healthy and inexpensive recipes. Here’s the first.

White Bean Salad



For the salad:

•                  2 16oz cans of white beans (drain and rinse with fresh water to reduce sodium)

•                  1 slice of fennel

•                  2 thinly sliced red bell peppers (if red peppers are too expensive you can substitute green peppers, which are usually cheaper)

•                  1/2 red onion, sliced

•                  1 basket cherry tomatoes (if too expensive, substitute regular tomatoes)

•                  1 cucumber, halved the long way and thinly sliced

•                  2 cups romaine or other dark leafy  lettuce

For the Dressing:

•                  2 tbsp. oregano, parsley and thyme chopped

•                  3 tbsp. olive oil

•                  Juice of 2 lemons

•                  Cayenne pepper, salt & pepper to taste

Combine the first 6 ingredients with the dressing and serve over the lettuce.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Need food? For CalFresh application assistance, call the Community Food Hotline at 662-0991 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4 pm)



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