Friday, September 16, 2011

More Observations on the Hunger Challenge

Food Bank pantry
Yesterday's post was the most pitiful thing I think I've ever written. I tried a new recipe, Queso Panela Kebabs, and it was a failure. The cheese melted into a sad pile of goo. Failure happens but it's all the more discouraging when you're on a budget. It's not like you can run out and buy more ingredients. Also, you can probably tell, my heart just wasn't in it. I was feeling uninspired and that always comes across when I'm cooking (and writing). So I made a dull meal lacking any real creativity. It makes me embarrassed to read that post. But my embarrassment is nothing compared to the feelings that someone really living on a limited budget would experience.

There has been some criticism of the Hunger Challenge specifically from people who have experienced real hardship, some of whom have been on public assistance. I can completely understand why they would not want to participate and would feel uneasy with the Hunger Challenge. If I experienced real hunger I would not want to relive it or even be reminded of it. The Hunger Challenge is about the experience of living on a very limited budget. It is NOT an attempt to fully experience what someone actually living on a food stamps budget experiences, because that would be impossible.

In the future I hope the Hunger Challenge will make room at the table for those in our midst who have experienced hunger. I'd like to see a space for those who are willing to share their stories, like KitchenMage. Painful as it may be, those stories are more powerful than anything we who are taking the Hunger Challenge could ever share. Like the Hunger Challengers they raise awareness about hunger and also inspire readers to make donations. And really, no matter what we do, that's what it's all about.

Ways you can help

♥ Read blogs by people taking the Hunger Challenge. There's a blogroll here.

♥ Follow the Hunger Challengers on Twitter. There's a listing here, or search for the hashtag #HungerChallenge.

♥ Learn more about the San Francisco Food Bank - and make a donation. For every $1 donated the food bank can supply hungry people with $6 worth of food!

♥ Follow the San Francisco Food Bank on Twitter or visit their Facebook page to see how they're fighting hunger every day.