Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's Carrot Week at Jeanne's

As the Challenge began, Jeanne found a good deal on a big supply of carrots. So far, her meals have included carrot burgers, carrot salad, carrot-walnut spaghetti (She had also found a good deal on nuts.), and carrot soup.
She says there used to be various "special weeks" when she was raising her children, depending on the good deals.
Is anyone having a "potato week", or other special week?

Cookie Dilemma

Whoooops! Today's To Do list says I have promised to take treats to church early tomorrow, because there will be a special guest. Weeks ago it was easy to agree to the request. But now I have only my Food Stamp Challenge food for the week.
During last year's Challenge, a similar problem sparked a lively discussion about what to do. (See "Cookie Crisis" Nov.17, 2007, in the Blog Archive. lower right on this website.)
This time, I see the solution in our pile of remaining groceries: saltine crackers, PB, & grape jelly. So, if you see a plate of little cracker sandwiches among the finer refreshments, you'll know what happened.
But for those with food stamps, what choices would they see?:
• Be embarrassed to bring cracker sandwiches; or
• Not bring anything, and hope no one notices; or
• Use food resources that otherwise would have helped feed the family; or
• Simply not sign up to bring treats -the unhappy solution of a 2007 commentator on this website - and not be able to fully participate in the activities of my church.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cathy L. checks in with a report on her day

The cooked oatmeal for breakfast was good with brown sugar and milk and not necessarily a step down from our usual nut and dried fruit laden granola which I normally make every week. This week will require a daily preparation. I found OJ on sale so we had juice which I can't live without. The whole chicken at $.88 a pound is in the crock pot for dinner and will be part of at least 3 or 4 meal's main dishes. Lunch was those $.88 a pound carrots, bread, milk and a hot dog (maybe not a great health choice, but cheap at $1 a pound). Best wishes to all who are taking the challenge.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jeanne's Oatmeal Cookies

Challenge taker Jeanne sends this recipe to liven up your Challenge week. - not a bleak week at her house!
Grocery fliers in our local free Shopper newspaper really helped me plan our meals and list. Shopper is delivered on Friday, so I knew which items to buy from this past week's specials and which items to postpone for new specials that start Monday in our town. Lots of good specials are being featured to entice holiday bakers.

Below is a recipe for nutritious and satisfying cookies for folks investing in oatmeal (THE BIG BOX) since it's the cheapest breakfast food. All the ingredients also appear in other meals planned for Challenge Week.
Asterisks* show specials bought Saturday while past week's specials were still in effect. Pound signs # indicate specials that start Monday.

one egg# (99 cents/doz w/coupon)
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup honey* (3.99 for 32 oz)
1/2 tsp. salt* (50 cents w/coupon)
1T cinnamon# (77 cents)
1 cup chopped walnuts# (3.50 for 10 oz)
1 cup raisins* (1.99 for 18 oz)
3 cups uncooked rolled oats* (1.99 for 42 oz)
2 tsp baking powder* (50 cents w/coupon)
1 cup whole wheat flour

1. Beat egg well along with oil and honey
2. Add salt, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, and oats.
3. Add baking powder, mixing in well
4. Add flour, mixing in well.
5. Flour hands and shape into balls distributed over 2 cookie sheets. (4 dozen plus)
6. Flatten each ball with bottom of glass dipped in water to prevent sticking.
7. Bake at 325 degrees 15 minutes (or until lightly browned).
8. Cool thoroughly before removing from pans.

TIP: Herbs and spices in nice big sizes are just 77 cents at HyVee this coming week. Otherwise, they are $1.00 at dollar stores. I'm investing $2.31 of my precious food stamp allowance for oregano, cinnamon, and garlic powder (NOT garlic salt) to be used this week and well into the future.

ADVICE: White flour is cheaper than whole wheat; but with some artful budgeting, you can provide the nutritional premium of the whole grain. Nothing but the best for your family!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

To Copy into Newsletters & Church Bulletins

Take the Food Stamp Challenge
You are invited to take the 2008 South Dakota Food Stamp Challenge, Nov. 16-22, Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.
The Challenge invites us to eat as healthy as we can for only $25 per person for the week. Why $25? That is the average food stamp allotment in South Dakota. Too often housing, medicines and other costs use up people's cash income.
This event will help raise awareness about struggles many people in our state and nation face trying to eat only on food stamps. For guidelines and for signing up:
Sponsored by Community Food Banks of South Dakota, Black Hills Regional Food Bank, & Bread for the World -SD

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NEW: The 2008 South Dakota Food Stamp Challenge

November 16-22, 2008, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in South Dakota.

What's different from 2007? The average food stamp allotment is $25/week per person, up from $21 last year.

THE CHALLENGE: Eat for a full week on $25 per person.
That is the average food stamp allowance in South Dakota.

Spend only $25 on food and beverages during the week for your total food intake.
In other words,
• Include in the total all food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, including fast food and dining out.
• Do not eat food you already own. (A family fleeing domestic violence would not have garden produce or even seasonings or condiments, though they might pick up salt & pepper packets somewhere.)
• Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, at work or elsewhere.
• Exclude sales tax from your $25. Fortunately, food stamp purchases are not taxed.
• Find ways to report on your experience to others.

Think of opportunities to challenge your groups , churches, committees & boards, media people, public officials, chefs, and yourself to take the Food Stamp Challenge.

Experience first-hand some of the struggle people face on a regular basis trying to piece together a healthy diet. For many, housing, medicine, and other costs gobble up their cash, leaving little or no cash for food but only their food stamps.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Week's End Thoughts

Andrew I (staff of Native American Organizing Project)
Ah-man, it was pretty challenging. I am from a background where Mainstream society would consider my family severely economically disadvantaged, yet we always seem to get by in a good way. Always love and some food in the house. More love than the latter. Not all in that situation around us were as fortunate.
This week reminded me how fortunate I currently am at this point in my life. I do live paycheck to paycheck as most do in Rapid City, and I struggle to keep food on the table and the necessities for my children, yet we manage only because I learned good crisis management from my parents.
I was a little embarrassed to tell my kids and my wife that I was hungry, but I wanted to stick to the SD Food Stamp Challenge, as it is humbling to know how those I care about and advocate for may feel on a daily basis. I too was angry at times thinking about how many Native families I know struggle far more than I, and yet they have to be on the defense with safety net services that could possibly help them. From mean or unprofessional case managers to rules that go against the community values of our culture and force many to go hungry for no reason. Some members of our community consider this type of institutional racism the worst as it affects the children and elders the hardest. No one should go hungry, especially if it is a preventable situation.
I am a fortunate one in Rapid City. Not all of my relatives know how to empower themselves by joining together with others. There are good reasons why many stand back, but it's good to see organizations like yours step up for the people and show everyone that human kindness and institutional responsibility can create a positive outcome, when we all put our minds to it...wouldn't ya say?