The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


July 30, 2007

This week, can you live on $1 a meal?

It's harder than it sounds. But that’s the ELCA Food Stamp Challenge: how difficult is it for you to live one  week on $1 per person, per meal?

That’s also the national average Food Stamp benefit. Twenty-five million people in the U.S. participate in the Food Stamp program, which is part of the U.S. Farm Bill. This fall, Congress will reauthorize or rewrite that bill. The ELCA’s Washington office is asking members to call or write Congress to ask for an increase in the Food Stamp benefit, so low-income families can purchased healthy foods.

I tried it. Sort of.

For my family of four, it means a budget of $4 a meal, or $12 a day. I am concerned about not getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables, but I’m not big on meat, so that may be to our advantage. 

Two out of three meals yesterday fit into the $4 a meal directive, but lunch did not.
Breakfast: (25 cents worth of dry oatmeal, 50 cents worth of raisins, and 65 cents worth of Aldi’s $1.29 orange juice)
Lunch: $20 (sandwiches and drinks for us and another family member at a local restaurant)
Dinner: ($3.59 whole chicken on sale, roasted & lima beans, $1 for a dry pound you must presoak). The leftover chicken and limas made a soup for Tuesday lunch. I’ll get a carrot and some rice tonight (hopefully for under $2).

If you’d like to take the challenge with me, check out the Curb Your Hunger web site.

I’ll try to do better tomorrow!

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