I am beginning to research hunger especially among children in my community. I'm not sure why this came to mind one day, but it did. I have never gone hungry although when I was a child food was scarce when my dad's union went on strike. We still ate, but at times it was just oatmeal. I don't remember feeling hungry as the oatmeal filled me up, I just wished I had more choices.
Recently the government cut back on food assistance benefits (SNAP program) effective November 1st. I know that there are people who abuse the system. There will always be abusers, however I know that there are more people in need that don't abuse the system versus those that do. Of particular interest to me are the children. No matter what choices the parents make, children have no decisions in the matter. In our country it is beyond my comprehension why a child should go without food.
Many families are under employed or have been unemployed for a long time. Having access to food is a priority and in my opinion is the right of every American. This country produces enough food for all of us, it's just that some of us can afford food and some of us can't.
I have been watching videos on You Tube regarding people on SNAP and what it is like to be a mother and not be able to feed her children. I have watched many videos produced by "Feeding America." All of this got me to wonder what it would be like to be a single mom receiving SNAP benefits for her and her school aged son during the summer months. This means no free school breakfast, lunch or after school program because it is summer. So, what would this look like? It looks like $1.40 per person per meal.
Instead of going on the food stamp challenge myself, I want to come up with meals on the above limited amount of money for 1 week for this type of scenario: single mom with a school age son. I am going to use the advertisement from the nearest grocery store and make up a list of food choices as if I am living in poverty. I am assuming that I won't have a car and will have to walk to the nearest store for groceries.
Here is what I would like from my readers: I need your help in setting up this scenario.
1. What items would you think this type of person would have on hand that I wouldn't have to buy on my first shopping trip? For example, ketchup, mustard, sugar, flour, soy sauce, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder. What do you think someone would have in their cupboard? You may think that someone in a dire situation wouldn't have any of the above, and if so, let me hear from you.
2. I have never been to a food pantry. In our community I know that I would need to be referred. Let's say that I get a referral, give me a list of a few items you think I would be able to get from my local food pantry for the week. Set the situation for me.
3. Give me any other ideas to set this situation up. Be brutal as I want to really have this as a challenge just as if I was this mom, underemployed, and struggling to feed my son. I want to experience the sadness, fear and pain of figuring this all out.
So, give me your ideas so I can set up the challenge for myself.