Guest post by Assemblymember Yamada: Last night’s meal of stir-fried turkey with black beans and green beans over noodles was a combination borne out of “ingredient necessity”. Not the tastiest, but filling.
Today is Wednesday and I am “mid-week” with the Hunger Challenge. I am pleased to learn that there is a staffer in the building who has also joined me for today. I invited her to send her thoughts to the blog.
During a noon-talk that I gave to the Executive Fellows, several were incredulous that I was participating in this activity, asking me, “How do you do that?” (live on $4.44 a day for food). I replied that this brief exercise required planning, budgeting, and restraint, and that 2.5 million Californians are facing this every day.
Having left home in a rush this morning, I microwaved leftover coffee from Tuesday and filled my thermos about a third-full. I grabbed a whole banana, a yogurt (only one remaining from the 4-pk), and a slice of 12-grain bread. After a full day phone calls, events, presentations, speeches, and preparations for next week’s Senate committee hearings, I do feel hungry and am thinking ahead as to what I will put together for dinner tonight. Perhaps my can of chicken corn chowder, a lettuce and tomato salad, and toast is on the evening horizon. I couldn’t imagine if, after a long and exhausting day like this one, I would then have to travel long distances to obtain any fresh food to prepare for a meal, as many who live in “food deserts” across the state must do every day or week. A few bills in the Legislature address this issue, including Speaker Perez’s AB 581 which creates the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative to help expand access to healthy foods in underserved communities. Through our work in the Legislature, I hope we can minimize the burden on these communities with limited nutritious food options.