Second Harvest Community Food Bank Blog
My SNAP Challenge - Day 3
by Chad Higdon, Executive Director
Today marks day three of my SNAP (formerly food stamp) Challenge. It has been very interesting to see how a dramatic change in my diet has impacted my outlook on the food I eat. On Saturday, I took my eight-year old daughter to the store and began to explain earning an income, paying taxes and how some of the tax dollars go to support things like food stamps. We had a very interesting conversation about donating to causes and where my salary comes from. It was very interesting to watch her try and process that information, and then scour the store with me looking for bargains to help me find enough food to last five days on $22.50.
For my first purchase, I bought American cheese singles, a can of tuna, a package of bologna, a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli, a bag of corn chips, a dozen eggs, a package of Ramen noodles, a loaf of bread and a jar of mayonnaise which totaled $12.89.
Maybe most interesting is that I did not eat a thing on Saturday. And while I had purchased food on my budget I could have eaten, I was also tempted with other opportunities. I stopped by my mom’s that morning and she had cinnamon rolls, scrambles eggs and sausage prepared. At a reception at the 139th Airlift Wing I turned down some delicious looking sugar cookies. And that evening while my wife and kids ate pork steak with mashed potatoes and gravy I stood by and resisted any temptations to join them.
The next day I suffered. I began to get a headache and was not able to keep down the tuna fish sandwich and corn chips I had for lunch. Perhaps I consume too much caffeine and my body was letting me know how much I was missing this regular part of my daily habits. After my stomach eased I warmed the beef raviolis and ate those that night.
What I found interesting is when my eight year old daughter asked to finish the tuna salad I had made, and both daughters wanted to share my ravioli. Of course I wouldn’t have the heart to tell them no, but I find it very inspiring that my daughter seems to want to experience this Challenge alongside me.
On Monday, several meetings kept me occupied much of the day, until I had a reason to stop by a supermarket that afternoon and decided to spend a little more of my money, using $6.15 on bananas, apples, peaches, butter and tomato soup. I ate one of the bananas and a peach, and when I got home we ate grilled cheese as a family, perhaps so everyone could eat similar to what dad was eating.
I now have two days remaining and $3.46 left in my budget, although I feel like I still have enough food to get me by for the next two days. It just may not be exactly what I would like to eat, nor the healthiest choices for me. I also now wonder if I would be better off using the rest of my budget on protein or caffeine. I also plan to take time to venture to the Open Door Food Kitchen today to better understand the circumstances of those we are here to serve.
I still don’t know exactly what impact this Challenge is having on me, but one thing is certain I am certainly getting a better understanding of my diet, and I am helping my family understand issues in our society.
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