Today is the final day of the Hunger Challenge. Although I already know I stayed under budget, it seems irrelevant. I confess this challenge has struck a nerve in me which continues to disturb me. Being able to cook and bake even on a budget has been challenging but doable. But what about the part of the challenge that is suppose to bring awareness to Hunger? Am I more empathic to those who go hungry each day? I’ve already shared that I grew up in a family with 6 kids and little means. I know what it’s like to go without and how hard it can be to get by. I watched my mom eat rice and water soup while giving us kids whatever else there was to eat. Now that I think about it, she ate rice and water soup quite often. When we were hungry we would look in the pantry and see what type of canned food was available for us to eat. Often times it was apple sauce or canned corn. Definitely not much variety. And with 6 kids, not much food. Since then so many things have changed. Even though our family is on one income, our kids have never experienced hunger.
Then there is my husband. He and I were talking about our childhoods this morning and I thought I would share a little bit of his story. He is one of three sons raised by his single mother. When she was not working she was in school. He was a free lunch kid too and he remembers eating out of large cans of peanut butter as well as hot dog and potato soup. Often times his mother wouldn’t eat because she wanted to make sure all three boys were fed.
I share this with you because I want people to know that I understand hunger. Like my husband, our family ate food from the food bank and utilized the free lunches at school. I think this is why this challenge disturbs me so much because I don’t really like remembering the hard times. However, having to remember explains why I enjoy food so much now. I do feel like I have something to prove to myself in all this- that even on a food stamp budget I don’t ever have to eat rice and water soup, I know my kids will never have to eat canned apple sauce or peanut butter in white and black lettered labels, and most importantly I can provide balanced meals for my family even on a limited budget.
I recognize there are families out there who are struggling to put food on the table. In fact I have a friend who hasn’t paid her mortgage in months and is still struggling to put food on the table. She utilizes the local food bank and it’s difficult to watch her and her family being limited to what is given to them especially because she enjoys food like me. But in her case, she is unable to just buy what she wants, she just has to make do with what she has. I’ve been thinking about her a lot this week. Although we have/do share meals with them, as a mom I know it must be difficult for her and family to struggle. Is there hope for her?
No matter what the results of this challenge I hope we can all be mindful of those around us who experience hunger and somehow respond.
As for our household we have decided to donate to Northwest Harvest. When you donate to NW Harvest during the month of April, philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein will match (“Feinstein Challenge”) a portion of your donation to hunger relief agencies across the nation including NW Harvest.
Therefore I am challenging other Food Bloggers taking the Hunger Challenge or anyone else reading this to donate to your local food bank or United Way King County. I will match everyone’s collective donation up to $200 Total. So if you can donate even $1, I’ll match it $1. In other words, if you all collectively donate $200, I’ll donate another $200 and that is $400 to go towards fighting Hunger. So just leave a comment letting me know that you *have* donated with the $$ amount and the name of the organization you donated to. My mini matching campaign will end Sunday night at midnight. So spread the word and lets see if we can raise $400 by Midnight Sunday.
I’ll be writing my final blog post tonight of what we ate and spent. I hope you’ve enjoyed following me and everyone else participating, because I know I have. I’ve made some new foodie friends and I can honestly I do have a new heightened awareness of Hunger like I haven’t had since I was a kid. Thanks United Way for sponsoring the Hunger Challenge!
Alice of Savory Sweet Life.