Well, Day 1 of the SNAP challenge is behind me. It’s not easy.
I definitely felt hunger throughout the day and even went to bed hungry. I went to a luncheon yesterday and didn’t eat (choosing to eat a bowl of soup at my desk upon returning to work). I went to the Beth El speakers’ series also and passed on eating fruit and cookies. I realize that someone who is a SNAP recipient could have eaten at these things, but since I don’t know if they would have those opportunities, I will opt for sticking to the $4/day. For me, I’m fortunate…this is just five days and I can handle anything for five days.
We keep kosher in our home. I practice the Weight Watchers program. Now I am doing this SNAP challenge. What I am seeing is that food is requiring so much of my thinking. Is it kosher? How many WW points is that? How much of my daily allowance is left? I can easily see why people go with the easy, less healthy choices. Time. I am an empty nester. I have the time to plan. When my kids were young, I was lucky to get a shower most days, much less sit down to plan out a meal. And when I did meal plan, I didn’t have to worry about cost per person. While I realize that planning healthy choices on SNAP is possible, I absolutely get why many recipients don’t. I wonder if food pantries could design a program with a “meal in a bag” that has everything they need to cook and a recipe stapled to the bag. If they think their family would eat it, they choose that bag. Just a thought.
I will continue on this experience, grateful that I am just experiencing hunger pangs. I am focused on food this week, but I don’t have financial concerns about money for rent or how to buy gas for my car. I get that this is not the full experience since I don’t have true food insecurity and I know that my life goes back to normal on Saturday. But, I will return to that life with a greater empathy for what food insecure families are going through.