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Advocacy in Action

The Food Stamp Challenge: Day 2

By Lori on 10/29/2011 @ 06:56 PM

I am attending a conference, which serves food. Again, going hungry is an uncomfortable experience overall. A child experiencing poverty and hunger cannot explain away his or her situation by stating that he or she is taking the Food Stamp Challenge. At lunch, I ate rations of lettuce and items that I knew to be less expensive. However, there were delicious-looking sandwiches, salads and buffet delights that I avoided. Although I do not believe I normally eat much, I found it more difficult to concentrate at times. I tried to trick my stomach by chewing on ice during the snack breaks.

After the conference, my husband wanted to go out for dinner (as I refused to make him anything valued at more than $1.50). So, we went to a local chain restaurant that is known to be a good value. I told my husband that I was trying not to contribute toward any restaurant bills during the Food Stamp Challenge, but I went with him to keep him company. In his own way, he tried to oblige me during the Challenge. He only ordered soup, and he was very proud of himself. I informed him that with tax, one item equals the amount that an individual on food stamps is allocated for his or her food budget for the entire day. “Are you planning on leaving a tip?” I asked. Needless to say, I do not believe my spouse will be requesting I accompany him to another restaurant for the duration of the Food Stamp Challenge, and we have agreed to eat out less frequently.

I find that I have grown weary from the process of constantly contemplating the fact that it not everyone’s choice to budget $1.50 per meal and participate in this “diet” as well as my continuous self-examination. Also, being at a wonderful conference that requires I stay focused and alert without proper nutrition has added to my exhaustion. So, it is about 9:00PM on Friday night, and I am going to sleep. I hope to dream of a solution to ending poverty by 2020!

Lori Dearman


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