Breakfast wasn’t too bad and consisted of a bowl of cereal a banana and a cup of coffee. But by 10:00AM, I was missing my mid-morning snack and an extra cup of coffee. At 11:00, I’m hungry, it’s preoccupying my mind. I wonder if people who have to live on SNAP get used to the feeling of hunger or does it chronically bother them? If I was a child how could I possibly concentrate in school? Or a high school age student, how would I have the energy for band or football practice? Fortunately, the average time a family is on SNAP is for 8 months, and not years. These benefits are structured to provide a work incentive. For every additional dollar a SNAP participant earns, their benefits decline by about 36 cents. So these folks have an incentive to work longer hours or seek better employment if available.
Lunch was pretty basic and consisted of low priced canned tuna on wheat bread with a pear and water. That didn’t cut it, by 4:00PM I was hungry again. And to think of going to gym at 6:00PM, forget about it.
Dinner was chili, salad and water. No dessert in the budget. The chili quality was definitely downgraded by our budget. It contained less ground beef and no chunks of chicken or fresh artisan bread (my wife’s favorite part). Half the amount of beans (less protein) and much higher sodium levels in the low cost chili mix. More water please.
My wife is showing signs of bailing out on this challenge, can’t blame her. To not have to dwell on food security and/or financial security is certainly a luxury when considering the plight of those who go without. People who are living in poverty have survival on their minds because they don’t have that sense of security.
I’ve never noticed so many ads for food on television. Did you ever watch a football game without snacking? I’m hungry just thinking about it. Maybe I’ll go mooch off the neighbors during a game. Would that be considered cheating on this challenge? Maybe it’s just the reality of having to live on a low income.
This experience so far has brought new meaning to the old saying that you don’t miss something until it’s gone.