Once a year, I do my best to understand what hunger feels like in today’s America. There is no scientific reason for this journey. It is inspired by so many people who have shared their lives and their struggles, and by my own need to connect. Making sure no one is ever hungry is the most important assignment I will ever have.
For the next month, I will strive to live as if $4.25 each day is the only thing in my life keeping hunger at bay. This is the approximate amount of money that the US government (USDA) would suggest a person could eat for and not go hungry.
First, I make a basic plan for how I am going to spend my almost $30 for the week. Protein (meat, beans, and dairy) is important. Making sure to balance out with healthy carbs (breads, vegetables, and pasta) will help me create the most interesting menus with the budget available. If I am really lucky, my money will stretch to include occasional fresh vegetables and fruits.
Today is DAY 3. The first couple days, I really focused on protein: eggs, dairy, peanut butter, and vegetables. Staying on budget and eating the appropriate amount of each food type has been challenging. Before the week is over, I will have fewer choices, and more of the same type of food for each meal. Hopefully, next week’s shopping trip comes quickly.
Currently, this is the best way I know to try to understand what it feels like to be hungry in today’s world. If I really had little to no money, there would be less security in every aspect of my life. Having a safe place to sleep, a way to get places, doctors and dentists, and trips out to places I enjoy would be rare in the best of circumstances.
Every couple days, I will share what is happening. Please feel free to join me on this journey, or create one completely of your own making. The better we understand hunger, the more we can take action that will put an end to it.