Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hunger Challenge 2011 - Update

This has been the most difficult Hunger Challenge yet for me.  Partly it's that I'm on a special diet for health reasons which limits my food choices, partly because I've just been so busy I haven't had time to plan, shop, write down menus and recipes and journal the way I have for previous Hunger Challenges.  Then it struck me, that's how it is to live on a food stamp budget all the time. 

There is a certain artifice to participating in a food challenge.  We participants can set aside the week or (other period of time),  obsessing over planning, getting the best deals, figuring out how to get the most bang for our food bucks with clever recipes, all with access to a full range of cooking supplies and equipment.

If you are limited in your resources in terms of money, time, access to a variety of food sources, etc., you could never focus on maximizing your weekly food budget like a Hunger Challenge participant might, you are too busy just trying to stay fed and keeping your family fed.  Add into it a health concern and its like having a full time job.

Having said all that I do wish I had done a better job of recording everything this Hunger Challenge.  I do have a lot of recipes and menus from previous years (See info here) that could be helpful in understanding some of the background of what I'm writing about now.

For now, here's a quickie outline of a typical Hunger Challenge day for me.

Breakfast -- oatmeal, banana, tea,  calcium fortified soy milk -- estimated cost about 85 cents
Snack (2 times a day) carrot, banana or similar -- about 25 cents each plus 1 cup of tea or iced tea- about 5 cents  (about 55 cents total) OR cup of tea with 1/2 cup calcium fortified soy milk (about 45 cents) and 1 carrot or banana (total of 65 cents).
Lunch -- Dinner leftovers - about $1.60
Dinner-- Vegetable stir fry with tofu, rice or pasta - about $1.60

Daily total -- Just under the $4.72 a day budget, which does not include any produce I would have received as a client of the San Francisco Food Bank.  Factoring that in might have reduced the cost for my lunch and dinner and or would have added additional food and variety to my day (yeah!).

For more information about the Hunger Challenge now going on through the SF Food Bank, please click here.  Read the Hunger Challenge blog for information on what bloggers and other participants are experiencing during the challenge. For info on the food bank itself, go here.

With new federal studies showing poverty in America at an all time high since the government began tracking and reports of hunger in America growing as well as reliance of food banks increasing, I hope that even if you don't live in the Bay area, you'll check out what you can do to help combat hunger in your community at Feeding America.

Here's a few of the other bloggers who are participating in this year's Hunger Challenge.  I hope you'll take a few minutes and read about their experiences as well.

I'll post more of the links over the next few days:


Ryan Young (Feeding America) said...

Thank you for mentioning Feeding America in your post. Thank you for the support!

- Ryan Young (

San Francisco Food Bank said...

Hi Blog Appetit, How is the Challenge going? These popsicles in your most recent post look amazing, especially the black cherry flavor!