Two days until the end of my Food Security Challenge and the fun is well and truly over! My money is all spent, the food all eaten – except for five apples and a handful of slightly stale kitten cookies.
Some people eat only apples to have a cleanse of their digestive system. For me, I have no choice in the matter. Of course, I did have a choice earlier. I could have just bought unhealthy food with empty calories and have probably not run out of food by the end. I could have subsisted on white rice and white pasta and cheap pastries.
My belly would have been filled, but filled with junk that would have made me less healthy than when I started the month. I would have been saving money on food to spend many hundreds of times more on medical care in the future.
This past week I have had the opportunity to visit a couple of the Foodbank’s 300 plus member agencies and programs – ones who specialize in working with seniors. I have been highlighting the needs of seniors in our community during this year’s challenge and these agencies do great work with seniors.
Food from the Heart, run by Sharon Byrne and whose board chair is Kelly Onnen, make and deliver meals to both seniors and those recovering from surgery or illness. Once a week they assemble at Trinity Lutheran Church and work culinary miracles, creating meals and supplemental food to allow it to be stretched out to multiple meals.
It was painful for me to see all those rows of delicious food boxes. They even offered me a sample, but I stayed strong to keep to my challenge. Tempters!
I also paid a visit to Pilgrim Terrace, an assisted living facility where the Foodbank has run a Brown Bag senior food delivery for many years. I got a chance to talk with Karen and Joanna about how they make ends meet.
They have a lot of soups and salads and the fresh vegetables, dry goods and protein items that they get from the Foodbank make all the difference in being able to stretch out dollars. They also have a wonderful lunch program which has made a huge difference in the resident’s ability to interact and make friends.
This also meant one more delicious looking meal that I could not eat…
I got a chance to meet their ED, John Jeffries and Jenn Skinner the Ops Director and also to take a look at their fabulous tower gardens that provide salad ingredients, which they use in their own meals and sell to local restaurants to subsidize the cost of the lunch program. You’ve got to be creative if you’re going to stay healthy on a fixed income.
Two more days to go. Let’s find out if an apple a day will really keep the doctor away.