Food Bank staff are starting to feel the effects of the challenge. Read about their experiences below.
Larry Sly, Executive Director. So I didn’t eat dinner last night. I had one of those “two meetings in a row” nights and when I was done at 9PM I decided I was more tired than hungry, especially when a bean burrito featuring only cheese as a garnish was what was available to me. Having cantaloupe for breakfast was a welcome change from oatmeal, but the common theme to my meals is “boring”. Doing this for a week is one thing, having it be a lifestyle would not be good.
Joan Tomasini, Food Drive Coordinator. I definitely have not been hungry today. I must say I am still loving my Life Cereal – must be the crunch factor that I need. I had to go to a few meetings today and everywhere I went there was a Starbucks and of course I have been to them all. Yes, I miss just stopping by for a quick snack/latte. Someone told me my Starbucks went out of business because I didn’t go this week – hardly true! I am sure they miss my daily cash donation. My stomach has not been growling – must be the bananas I keep eating or all of the water I am drinking. I have to work late so I called my husband to ask what he was having for dinner which he was chewing into the phone and yes, it was tasty and good smelling chicken. I told him I hated him and he said I would get over it come Saturday. I don’t know, he keeps threatening me with padlocks on the cabinets and a separate food stash just for me. For the future, I will have to remember that if I am bad, he will remind me of what I could be eating (peanut butter, tuna and repetitive food choices). Thank goodness he is supportive because evening grumpiness is not a good thing. I am dreaming of lattes on Saturday…
Caitlin Sly; Farm 2 Kids Coordinator. Last night was especially hard. Guests during the Food Stamp Challenge are my worst nemesis. My boyfriend came over and while I ate leftover pasta with tomato sauce he had some delicious looking supreme pizza. He kept trying to tempt me into having “just a bite” and claiming he “won’t tell anyone.” My strategy was to eat the pasta as fast as I could so that I would be full and no longer crave the pizza. It worked, but it was very difficult and not enjoyable in the least. Last night I pre-chopped a honeydew melon for my next two lunches and stored it in the fridge so I would be able to go quickly in the morning. I awoke to find that a third of the melon was gone because he had woken up in the middle of the night, wanting a sweet snack. Great…looks like my lunches will be a tad smaller than I planned. Lesson learned – you can’t share with friends when you are on such a tight budget.
Veronica Wimer, Purchasing Manager. Not hungry this morning, unlike yesterday where I was hungry because I had no desire to eat what I had chosen for dinner. But I had a pretty hearty dinner last night; 1C Lentils with 1 cooked carrot, 1 oz cheddar cheese and two eggs with 2 pieces of toast. Then I had about ½ C granola w/ 2oz milk for dessert. Not looking forward to lunch however, it’s leftovers from last night’s dinner. I’ll have my whole wheat rotini for dinner tonight with sugar pasta sauce. I’m sure by the end of tomorrow I will have consumed all of the allotted apples, milk, cheese, eggs, tuna, coffee, broccoli, lentils and cereal.
Don McCall, Grants Coordinator. Bananas for breakfast again. I had Yogurt and Shredded Wheat for lunch yesterday and will have the same today and tomorrow. Dinner last night was a turkey pot pie and some micro-waved broccoli with some more shredded wheat as a snack. I have realized that this diet is very similar to the diet I put myself on when I am eating good food, so I am used to the lack of variety and it doesn’t bother me that much. I am doing well on my remaining food and may be able to splurge a dollar or two for some diet cokes. I almost threw out my tea bag after the first use. At 20¢ a shot, a new bag every time is a luxury that I can’t afford. The worst part is all of the snack food around the office and warehouse lunch rooms. The other day a caterer brought in some salmon, salad and cookies for lunch. Cookies, candy, peanuts all over the place – a real challenge for an impulse eater like myself. I have to go to a reception tonight, so there will be many temptations for me to ignore.
Patty McDowell, Community Outreach Coordinator. The last 24 hours have definitely been hungry hours for me. I was missing fresh vegetables so much yesterday that I worked out a “trade” with myself. I cashed in ½ of my milk plus one can of beans in order to account for some fresh broccoli and another tomato to go along with my Day Three dinner of baked potato and Ceasar salad (minus the parmesan cheese and croutons). I hope this does not mean I am a rule breaker! My learning is: more time needed for meal planning and shopping list creation. As I type this update, my stomach is growling and I feel low energy. Two unusual happenings for me on this Food Stamp Challenge were that I caught myself eating bread crust on my PB&J sandwich yesterday which I absolutely hate (and typically discard), and then this morning I (subconsciously) ate my apple so thoroughly that I hit the core. This $4 a day is definitely a challenge!
Have you ever struggled with hunger or experienced living on Food Stamps? Let us know how about your challenges with hunger in the comments section below.