Guest post by Assemblymember Mariko Yamada: Heading into the final day and half of this year’s challenge, there is a sense of “weariness”—not to be confused with “mindfulness”—about food. We are literally barraged with daily food imagery—in advertisements that come in the day’s mail; television and radio commercials; restaurant promotions; the previously noted Capitol receptions; even social media posts from our families and friends. Voluntarily limiting oneself to the groceries available on the 2013 CalFresh budget of $24.90 for five days requires both physical and mental discipline.
This morning, I opened a can of tuna, and lacking the funds for mayonnaise, opened one of the last two yogurt cups I had purchased on Sunday evening to skim off the top layer (strawberry fruit-on-the-bottom!) as the dressing for a tuna fish sandwich. The flavors definitely clashed but one must make do with the ingredients at hand. Upon tasting this concoction, decided to mask the hint of strawberry with a cut-up tomato, and made a tuna-tomato-on wheat bread-American cheese slice melt to take in for Thursday’s lunch.
For some reason today, I was extra-hungry and have already consumed the sandwich and an extra cheese slice intended for an afternoon snack. Not sure if this is the cumulative effect of three previous days of having food to eat—but not feeling full since Monday.
I will drink home-brewed coffee the rest of today as I head to my District Office in Woodland. Not sure what I will have for dinner this evening—options are narrowing, similar to what CalFresh recipients face at the end of each month. The truism that “our food ran out before the month did” is a reality facing millions of Californians. Please think about that at the end of June.
Final day tomorrow!