Monday, September 22, 2008

The Hunger Challenge

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Hunger ChallengeIn the 1970's my dad was out of work for a year. For as long as I can remember, my mother tended an organic garden and baked bread from scratch and during that year my dad fished for salmon and went clamming for geoduck. We ate lots of eggs from our chickens and sold the rest for $1 a dozen. But the truth is there was also a lot of dumpster diving.

Actually the guys in the produce department at our nearby Co-op supermarket would set aside the ripest fruit and vegetables that they couldn't sell, for people like my mom and her friends who would stop by and scavenge. I don't remember ever going hungry. My parents used to say we never ate better. We certainly ate healthy food and made the best of whatever we had.

With the exception of that year during the recession, the closest I've ever come to living on a limited budget was eating my dinners at a homeless shelter where I worked. There was a lot of cheap food--macaroni and cheese, red beans and rice, tuna noodle casserole. Some of it was good, most of it wasn't. I'm awfully lucky. I've never had to cut corners when it comes to shopping. I may choose not to spend $10 for a pound of shelled English peas at the farmer's market but I have been known to spend $4 for a pound of peaches and many times that amount for fine cheese.

The Hunger Challenge is a chance to try and walk a mile in someone else's shoes, to see what the experience of eating on a limited budget is all about. In this case that means spending no more than $1 per meal, per person. Succeed or fail, I know I will learn a lot from this experience and the recipes I develop will go to the San Francisco Food Bank as a resource for their clients. My goal is to come up with recipes that are easy, delicious, nutritious and fit the budget. If they are quick to prepare, so much the better.

There are lots of ways to help, build awareness and make a difference. Donate to the food bank, try living on $1 a meal, volunteer at the food bank, write a letter to your government representative--find a way to support those who are struggling. Won't you join me?

GET INVOLVED!

♥ Learn about the San Francisco Food Bank

♥ Join the Hunger Challenge

Donate to the San Francisco and a receive a thank you special thank you gift! Your $1 donation allows the food bank to distribute $9 worth of groceries to local folks living on the edge.

1. Click on donate to go to the donation page.
2. Fill out the necessary info and make a donation of $50 or more.
3. About 2/3 of the way down the form, look for a header that says, “Food Drive/Event Information (not required)”
4. Use the drop-down box to select “Bloggers Hunger Challenge,” so we’ll know you are participating.
5. Be one of the first 12 people to donate $50 or more and you’ll receive a brand new free cookbook as a thank-you.