I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry, I don’t know what it’s like to worry about how I am going to feed my family, nor do I know how one makes a decision between housing and food.
I do know that hunger in our country is not ok. I know that Canada is country of great resources yet everyday our fellow countrymen and women are hungry. Not just hungry like you forgot to eat breakfast but hungry like food is all you can think about. I’ve once heard of hunger described as a beast that takes over and consumes you.
I don’t know how we are going to end hunger but I know while we are figuring it out I can at least feed people. At the end of this post I have ideas about how you can feed people too.
A few weeks ago I joined together with a group of bloggers to raise awareness about hunger and to provide a resource of healthy inexpensive meals. Today, April 8th over 150 food bloggers will post information, stories, resources etc. about hunger in addition to a healthy inexpensive recipe. To see all the posts please visit The Giving Table.
In addition each blogger has made a commitment to ask their readers to find out a little more about the issue of hunger and to consider how to help stand against hunger and let governments know that food insecurity in North America is not ok.
To my small group of friends, will you join me in letting our governments know we believe that everyone should have food security.
For my American friends please use this link to tell congress that federal nutrition programs are crucial for hungry children.
For my Canadian countrymen and women please use this link to tell our government that you say no to hunger.
In the United States thousands of Americans rely on a mere four dollars a day per person to feed their families. In Canada once social assistance dollars are spent on housing and other essentials I’m not sure much more than four dollars would be available for food for Canadian families either.
For my recipe I was committed to spending only four dollars. However to really gain an understanding of this issue my family decided to use twenty dollars to purchase food for our suppers for an entire week.
Below is my experience trying to shop for a week of meals on twenty dollars and our first meal.
I had some good plans about the meals I would create using my twenty dollars. Here’s what I bought.
A decent amount of food but not much variety and unless someone had a fairly stocked pantry of seasonings a bland bunch of meals might be ahead. I can certainly see why people might be tempted to purchase “prepared” meals. A lot of planning needs to be involved when on such a tight budget. I left the store feeling good that I had purchased foods that will sustain my family but a bit grim about the enjoyment we would have in our meals. When you are in the grocery store there is so much variety and endless ways to combine flavours into meals my family can come around the table and bond over. When you are food insecure your choices are taken away. It feels unfair.
That said here is our first meal which was actually quite enjoyed. We had this last Monday.
I started by roasting my spaghetti squash for 40 minutes at 375.
I then started on the sauce. I chopped half my onion and put in a pot to sauté. I used a little water to keep it from sticking. Once sautéed I put in 3 cloves of mined garlic and half a head of chopped cauliflower. I added a bit more water and continued sautéing until the cauliflower was done. I then added one can of sauce and half a can of water to stretch the sauce a bit. To finish the sauce I added half of my frozen spinach.
When the squash was almost done I cooked up my pasta. I was really lucky that the store had a special on whole wheat spaghetti I was able to get it for $1.25. It was normally almost three dollars. If it wasn’t on sale I couldn’t have afforded it.
When you lack food security you are really lacking choice. Preferences go out the window and you have to deal with what you can afford. We really enjoyed this meal and there was lots of food to feed us. I would have preferred to make the sauce myself from fresh tomatoes, celery, onion, seasonings…but I couldn’t afford it.
I believe that we should all be able to adequately feed ourselves and our families and should feel secure in the fact that we will have access to food to nourish and sustain our bodies.
Please consider some ways to help feed people. If you can afford it please give generously to food banks, pass out sandwiches to those in need, sign the petitions in the above links, volunteer to chop veggies or wash pots at a shelter, invite someone to share a meal with you, or pay for someone’s groceries.
1 spaghetti squash
1/2 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 head chopped cauliflower
1 can spaghetti sauce
1/2 can water
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 package whole wheat spaghetti