Food Stamp Challenge – Day One

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 in NEWS AND REPORTS | Comments Off on Food Stamp Challenge – Day One

Food Stamp Challenge – Day One

Day One – Shopping Day

$22.50.  ($1.50 x 3 meals = $4.50 x 5 days= $22.50)

This was budget I gave myself going into Wal-Mart Sunday night to prepare for the five day Food Stamp Challenge.

A few weeks ago the Urban Mission Board of Directors and I were challenged to accept the Food Stamp Challenge.   Could we do it?  Would we do it?

Hunger is such a significant issue in our community.  With 1 in 5 people going to sleep hungry each night in our community, I feel so helpless.

What can I do?  Perhaps the Challenge is the first step I can take to understanding the struggle many face in feeding their families day after day.

I decided to take the Challenge for the week of Sept. 14th – 20th.  It was important for me to do the Challenge first before I could invite others to do the same.

Walking into Wal-Mart with a calculator in one hand and my list in the other, I was confident I could stick to my budget.  I’m typically pretty budget conscious but it isn’t that often I have to stick to the budget down to the cents.  $22.50 was all I had.

20140914_183548I started in the fresh produce aisle.  Wow!  Why did everything have to look so good?!  Apples and bananas were on my list.  I decided to go with the bananas as the apples would take up at least a fourth of my budget.  I then moved to the vegetables.  I was looking for green beans and carrots but decided to stick with the carrots (they were cheaper) and possibly get some canned green beans.

“Skip the meats for now,” I told myself.  I was planning to go back once I had everything else I needed in my cart.

Milk? or Yogurt?  Yogurt seemed to be the better option.  I could make that into a meal if I needed to.

I looked at my list: Eggs… check.  Bread… check.

Skip the juice, pop, bottled water, coffee… sigh.

Skip any of the convenience food I’m used to putting in my cart.  Ugh!  I don’t like to cook, but it was looking like I would be preparing everything from scratch this week

Beans!  Yes to beans!  And rice!  “It’s going to be a very gassy week,” I thought to myself then laughed out loud.

Tuna…check.  Chickpeas… check.  But how do I cook them?

20140914_182618I had a few dollars left.  I should get some meat.

After looking through each case I found some chicken.  It was on sale.  Yes!

As I approached the register, I was afraid I would go over.  I pulled out my coupons.  None would work on the items I had chosen.  I have to get better at couponing I told myself.

As I scanned the last item, I waiting anxiously for the total… $21.87.  Whew!

I looked down at my cart.  Although happy I came under budget, I had no idea how I would make it through the week relying solely on the food in my bag.

The Challenge begins…

(Story submitted by Rev. Ashley Steele)