Bruce's Blog


HunGRy - Day Two

September 15th, 2011

DAY TWO - Thursday, September 15

Today I blew all but 50 cents of my food budget on lunch. It was an excellent lunch at an exceptionally low price--$3.99. Since I didn’t have breakfast this morning, I have enough left for an apple before bed.

[Today is the second day of my participation in the HunGRy? Week challenge to limit myself to the foods I could purchase with SNAP funds. The average is $30.59 per person per week, that’s $4.37 a day. For this challenge, I cannot receive free food. Everything, including the cost of eating out, has to be included in this incredibly small amount of money. I wanted this experience to help me to empathize with people for whom this is the extent of their food budget. To read the previos day's blog, click here.]


I could have been saved from myself if I had checked the comments on my Day One blog. Melodie wrote to remind me with a friendly smile that if I were really limited to SNAP funds for my food this week, I could not buy fast food. Closing the barn door after only a few of the horses have escaped, I promised that I would not eat out on my limited food budget the rest of the week. Thanks, Melodie.


Now I get the opportunity to help host a chef’s competition at UCOM. Three celebrity chefs will prepare food that they could get at UCOM’s pantry and with Double Up Bucks at the Farmer’s Market. (Their recipes will be on United Church Outreach Ministry’s Facebook page after the competition.) Five celebrity judges will choose a Master Chef from among these three. The whole community is invited and will be able to sample some of the cuisine. TV cameras will stream the cooking and judging action throughout our building and will record it for posterity. I am anticipating a wonderful time.  The catch is that I committed to eating no free food this week. So I will be watching, visiting, oooh-ing and ahh-ing with the rest, but I can’t eat any of the food.

…The event was a rousing success; the food was beautiful and smelled wonderful. I was pretty stoic about not tasting any of the fabulous dishes.

After all was done, I had a peach from the “reduced for quick sale” end-cap, for 10 cents. I can still have a slice of bread with a teaspoon of peanut butter tonight for my other 40 cents.

Hosting at the event took my mind off feeling deprived of the great food tonight, and as one of the hosts I didn’t feel so left out. I do have a little headache though, and I’ve learned a great lesson—not to spend my whole food allowance on one meal.


Earlier this morning, as I was feeding the wild birds from the trapeze of bird-feeders hanging from our upper deck, I was struck by the thought that our family spends more on various seeds for the birds than an average SNAP recipient receives. What’s wrong with that picture?

Read the Day One blog.


#1 Diana said:

An apple for supper? Not a very filling meal. I realize some people do not even have an apple, at times. I have been volunteering the last few months with Kids Food Basket. It is extremely sad to know some people, especially children, do not have enough food.

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