Second Harvest Community Food Bank Blog
Director of Operation's Final Thoughts on SNAP Challenge
By Tamara Grubb, Director of Operations
My Challenge is wrapping up and I have some questions for you to ponder.
Have you ever counted the slices of bread you have left in your loaf to see how many more sandwiches you can make? Until Wednesday, I would have answered no. I typically buy a loaf every week or two, sometimes throwing out half of the other loaf.
Have you ever looked at someone’s lunch and wished it was yours? I just did. Our office was filled with the aroma of chicken fried steak, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy. I don’t know that I have craved vegetables, ever. However, this week I had one can of corn. That’s it. I didn’t realize how much fresh and canned vegetables I eat on a weekly basis, until I had very little.
Have you ever just wanted to go to bed, because you were hungry but couldn’t eat, because if you did, you would run out of food? I have been in bed every night this week by 10:00. Last night, it was 9:00. I had a good dinner last night, but my body is craving more nutrients.
Have you ever taken more than the recommended dose of ibuprofen and Aleve trying to relieve a caffeine headache? I have, all week long. My head is throbbing and I just want to feel better.
I have learned that I am wasteful and unappreciative of the life I have. There have been moments in my life that I have relied on public assistance and we struggled. I was very fortunate for the support and it allowed me to pick up the pieces of my life and move forward. When you struggle to put food on the table you are more resourceful, less wasteful and you appreciate what you do have. I had lost that. I have taken for granted the blessings God has placed in my life.
For 47 million Americans this is not a one week reality check. This is their right now, today. To compound the issue, the benefits they are currently receiving are set to be cut on November 1. For the SNAP Challenge I had $31.50 or $1.50 per meal to eat. If this Challenge would have been in November, it would have been $29.40 or $1.40 per meal. I spent $29.61. That means that I would have had to cut back on what I was able to eat this week. This means, for the 47 million struggling in America, this will be their new reality.
I have another question to ask. What if the lunch you ate on Friday was the last meal you had until lunch on Monday? Our Backpack Buddies program serves 3,200 children. We have 17,000 food insecure children in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. That means that 13,380 are at risk of eating lunch today and not eating again until Monday. If the proposed cuts to House version of the nutrition assistance portion of the Farm Bill becomes law 200,000 American children will lose access to the Free/Reduced lunch program. That’s 200,000 children that may not be able to eat lunch at school. That’s 200,000 children that will have less access to food at home and school. That is frightening.
In my earlier blog post I stated, “Hunger is a solvable issue, we just have to be human and get involved.” I have two final questions. Do you believe that hunger is unacceptable, in any form, no excuses? And, will you get involved?
I pray you will join us in making Second Harvest’s vision to build-hunger free communities our new reality.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 ESV
Comment by karen brown on September 21, 2013 - 12:35 AM
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