Imagine you have $3 left in your wallet and you need to buy food for your family. You know there is a can of beans in the cupboard and half a jar of peanut butter so you take your $3 and go to the grocery store. You look for the cheapest loaf of bread, not the nice whole grain loaf you want to buy. You find a bag of rice, but the 5-minute kind is too expensive so you get the bag for 99 cents. You plan to eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and to make rice and beans for dinner for a couple of nights until you get paid. Then you go to the checkout and even though you calculated the total in the aisle you still fear you won’t have enough money for those two items. Do you know what it’s like? Do you know the panic of not knowing how you are going to feed your family?
I know what that’s like. I most definitely felt it while in college (who doesn’t know about being a starving student?) and also when my husband and I were first starting out I experienced that fear and stress. Money was really tight and there were times between paychecks when we couldn’t afford to go grocery shopping and had to make do with whatever was in the cupboards. There were days when I packed myself less of a lunch so my husband and son had enough to eat. It’s not easy situation to be in.
I’ve only experienced hunger (I use that term loosely here because I never went without any food) during short periods of time in my life, but there are others that this is an ongoing struggle for. They don’t have money to go grocery shopping and they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Or it’s just one thing after another: a car breaks down, something needs repairing on the house, a kid needs something for school. Every time you think you are getting ahead, something else happens where you are struggling again to put food on the table.
That is why I am taking the Hunger Challenge. To remember what that feels like and to help others understand what it’s like to be hungry. Maybe then we, as a society, will make sure everyone have a nutritious meal no matter what life has thrown their way.
If you have never experienced this maybe it is time you did. Take the Hunger Challenge with us. Live on an average food stamp budget of $4.46 a day for five days and see how it changes your outlook on life. You’ll feel a need to do something about hunger in America and if you stick with us, we will tell you how.