Lessons Learned

I’m down to my last hours of the Hunger Challenge. If I had to do this all over again I would have shopped differently. I could have done with one package of pasta and one jar of sauce and bought more veggies with the money instead. We have a ton of pasta left over! And loads of shredded chicken (by the way, that crock pot chicken recipe is very tasty).

The first couple of days were the hardest and I will admit that I did grab some crackers out the cupboard that were not part of my budget. My head hurt for the first three days and I know I was not very productive at work or at home. The last few days were actually a little easier but I am so tired of bean and cheese burritos and would give anything for an apple and some peanut butter. I’m looking forward to having yogurt again (gogurt doesn’t really count as yogurt although when I was hungry it worked) and big salad.


For me, this will be over in a few hours. I know during this experiment I went through nothing compared to what someone really receiving CalFresh benefits would be going through. In addition to being deprived of a sufficient amount of food CalFresh recipients are under an enormous amount of financial stress. They wouldn’t qualify for CalFresh if they weren’t.

I feel so blessed that I am able to feed my family sufficiently and a variety of foods. I also feel moved to make some changes in my community. Do you? There are bills in the state legislature that will help improve CalFresh, there are potential cuts in the state budget that will make things harder for people already struggling, and the Farm Bill is moving through the Senate were there are threats to cut SNAP further. You can make a difference by speaking out against these cuts and up for improvements to the program. Visit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s website to find out what you can do to take action.


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