Food Challenge: Several “Ah-Ha” Moments and Memories

Fri, 03 Oct 2014

The words ‘food’ and ‘challenge’ should never be in the same sentence. For me, the week was filled more with one word and less of the other - and it doesn’t take much thought to figure which is which.

As a coffee lover, this meant no Starbucks. As someone who enjoys an occasional glass of red wine with dinner – guess what? As someone who is a movie freak, this means no snacks, not even water, during the flick. And just try watching a football game at home without getting hungry during the endless commercials!

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I took the SNAP Challengethird party link for a week - $4.15 for food a day – and my food budget wasn’t the only thing that went on a diet. I’ve been trying to cut carbohydrates, but sadly, carbs are cheap. However, I did pretty well balancing my pasta, cereal, and bread with blueberries, tuna, celery, and peas. Problem is… that’s pretty much what I ate all week.

I’ve wanted to take this challenge for awhile and I’m glad I did. It re-awakened me to how I used to live day to day as a rookie reporter – stretching the groceries and appreciating work-related events that served food.

I recall a story on the homeless I covered in Delaware, and how I was asked by a homeless man for a dollar so that he could buy something to eat. I didn’t have it, but I shared half my sandwich. That memory came rushing back to me – how a simple, kind gesture, that might seem small to you, is a matter of eating or not eating to someone else.

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The week also brought to mind more recent images – of faces of children who my family would see on Saturdays here in Connecticut – as we handed out sandwiches at a local church. A few extra bucks a week at the grocery store for us volunteers meant the world to a family with several mouths to feed.

I guess a little karma came with that kindness. Remember the coffee I couldn’t buy? Someone treated me at the end of my challenge. I smiled and was thankful – just like all those who had smiled at me.

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