As my week spending $4/day for food draws to an end, I’ve spent a good amount of time reflecting on why I chose to partake in this ‘challenge’, what I have learned, and what this means for me moving forward in my work at the food pantry. I’ve concluded that eating on what I consider a ‘fixed amount’ is considered abundance and reality for many people and families around our nation and throughout the world.
I’ve concluded that yes, I can budget and survive on $4/day for 5 days. I can have a balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, chocolate, and some of my other favorite foods with a low budget (including popcorn, pad thai, and chocolate chips). However, it was only 5 days of repeated meals and little variety. Millions of people live on a similar or lower budget for much longer and often without a known ending point.
I’ve concluded that I can’t help but think about Saturday when I can afford to eat an orange, have a soft drink, or satisfy whatever other odd craving I have. However, I recognize many people do not have this luxury and I remain extremely uncomfortable with this disconnect I feel and cannot put into words.
I’ve concluded that I am extremely grateful for another opportunity to stand in solidarity with my neighbors struggling with food insecurity and am intensely encouraged to continue the work of ending hunger.
In case Pad Thai sounds good to you, this is my favorite simple and delicious recipe ---
- 1/3 package of rice noodles
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ onion
- Canola oil
- 2 carrots (shredded)
- 3 eggs
- Soy sauce
- Boil water and soak rice noodles until tender (5-10 minutes)
- Heat 2 Tbs canola oil, garlic and onions in a large sauce pan
- When onions turn clear, add shredded carrots. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Beat eggs in a separate bowl
- Push carrot mixture to the side of the saucepan and scramble eggs on the other half
- Once the eggs are scrambled, mix in the carrot mixture.
- Strain rice noodles and mix everything together
- Add soy sauce to your liking
*For a bonus, add chopped peanuts!
Amanda Kuhn, Social Services Coordinator