The challenge is to live off $12.00 worth of food a day for the week and to write about my experience. Twelve dollars is the maximum food stamp benefit (known as the Basic Food Program in Washington) for a two person household.
My goal will be to make the three meals a day as nutritionally balanced as possible and tasty to boot! Here are the details;
As far as ingredients go, salt and pepper are the only freebies
All other seasonings, cooking oils, condiments, snacks, drinks count as expenses
I can't use food I already own
I can't accept food from family, friends or coworkers and no free samples from grocery stores
I should try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day
The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of the problem of hunger locally. Because of the recession, many families are not getting enough to eat and local food banks and meal programs are being stretched beyond their limits as more and more people apply for assistance.
Many of you know I work with Operation Frontline teaching healthy cooking, nutrition and food budgeting for individuals at risk for hunger and malnutrition. I'm going to use this challenge as an opportunity to try to create some new recipes or adapt some of my older ones to be more budget friendly. I spend a lot of time talking with students about budgeting, so now it is time to see if I can walk the talk.
So get ready for Hunger Action week. If you'd like to participate in the Hunger Challenge, go here to sign up. Otherwise, stay tuned and I'll keep you update on how my menu planning progresses. One problem I can see right off the bat, is my addiction to diet coke is going to be sorely constrained by this budget.