Raise the Rates Welfare Food Challenge – Day 6

Looking at other food is really hard. I feel spoiled by the variety of food that I normally have access to …. as I said in my post from yesterday. I can only imagine how hard it would be for someone on low income to go into any store full of amazing food to eat.  In fact, I find myself not wanting to go into stores at all. I avoid contact with food other than what I need to eat and as I become more aware of my obsession with food, I am also trying very hard to put all food out of my mind. This could become very stressful.

As I sit here and type, wondering what of anything important I have to say, I am feeling very aware that I actually feel very hungry. I take back what I said earlier about the rice and lentils perhaps being enough.  I really want  to cheat right now, run out and grab some potato chips, anything to satiate myself. Maybe water will help. Okay, get some water….I am back, yes, the water helped a little. I must be loosing weight. My stomach is definitely flatter, but for a slim person like I am, I really do not want to loose any more weight.  Without a question, $19 is a starvation diet.

So people then turn to the Food Bank or programs like ours, whether they be community kitchens, bulk buy programs, or other community meals to get by. It is not like there is not enough food for people, but we have put an economic cost on food and much of it is becoming unaffordable, even for working people.  We have put a cost on poverty or a cost on a person’s self worth and what we are saying is that you have no worth, unless you can afford to consume. In response we need to let people know that they are valued. We need to say that no matter what a person’s lived situation is, that everyone has the right to good quality, nutritious food. We should all be able to walk into Choices Food Market and buy what we want, to have food choice.

Instead, if you have no money, you get what scrapes are given to you, mostly food of such poor quality that it will make a person sick.  You get donations which for the most part are overly processed carbs, you live on pasta and tomato sauce or hotdogs or whatever other food is really cheap.  While it is possible to eat healthy on a budget, by preparing more grains and veggies, such as lentil dahl, a person still cannot live on $19/week. My healthy plates of broccoli, eggs, lentils and rice that I have been eating this week are okay from a nutritional perspective, but it is still not nearly enough. For me to adequately fill up, I would need  to go to some food program, which may or may not give me healthy food. Again, I get what I get…no choice.

I leave you with this rather unappetizing look at how hot dogs are made, some of the food people eat to fill their bellies.

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