When I agreed to undertake my third food challenge, it was with the understanding that I was only going to utilize the equivalent of food I could buy with my food stamp allowance (as opposed to what I could get at additional Foodbank distributions). This meant I would probably be living on half the food I did last time.
However, I did negotiate the luxury of a single ‘night off’ from my challenge – Valentine’s Day evening. The last two times I undertook the challenge (both during February), I could not enjoy a Valentine’s Day dinner with my wife, Mari.
This year I decided to ensure that I at least keep in the running for the Marriage Security Challenge, by going out on a nice romantic dinner with my beloved.
We went to the Scarlet Begonia on State Street – so all you people who are convinced that you caught me cheating, I hereby wave my Get Out of Food Jail card.
After two weeks of virtue, I decided to go for the most sinful option on the menu – the rack of lamb. Forgive me little lamb, the food stamps made me do it.
It did bring home to me how lucky I was to have to the option of a delicious meal that ended up costing almost exactly what my whole month’s allowance of food stamps were. I feel guilty just typing that.
Now after my wild night, I am back on the (chuck) wagon and have about $ 37 left to make it through two weeks. I will have to focus some dream time on remember that meal – as well as my lovely companion, of course!
As I have suggested previously, it is the monotony of eating multiple meals of the same thing which can get to you over a period of time. And because this challenge is focusing on seniors, it is a reminder that loss of appetite and desire to eat can be a key indicator of poor health in an aging population.
Remember, the average recipient of our Brown Bag program is a 70 year old woman living on a fixed income of $900 per month to cover accommodation, medical, food and transport.
That increases my gratitude and my desire to ensure that all the seniors who need help in our community get enough good food to keep them healthy.
I know we can do it.