Editor’s Note: Kathy Moran, a longtime volunteer and supporter of Connecticut Food Bank, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge earlier this month and live on $4.45 a day for food for five days. We will post her experience in this blog over the next few days. In her second post, Kathy recounted the meals she prepared for her first day of the Challenge.
It was necessary to make sure I was up early enough to make lunch—1½ peanut butter sandwiches, a banana, and a Capri Sun—because there would be no running to the cafeteria to grab something quick.
I had a container of YoCrunch for breakfast. It didn’t take long until I realized that I would need to change my meal times so that I would have breakfast as late in the morning as I could and then push lunch out an hour later than usual. This was because it would be a long time until dinner, and with no snacks, I hoped to stave off the hunger pangs.
When I got home from work and cooked the chicken and the box of elbow macaroni that would serve as the foundation for most of my meals, I was extremely careful. If I didn’t prepare them right, they would be burnt, undercooked, mushy, or whatever. I tried to make things as appealing as I could, knowing these items would have to go a long way. I was also extremely careful in storing the cooked food.
The first evening’s meal was a bit of the chicken, some of the mixed veggies (all of the starchy type—peas, carrots, corn, and lima beans), half a sweet potato, some macaroni with sauce, and a cup of milk. I was pleased with the size of the meal. At least I wasn’t hungry by the time bedtime came.
I quickly realized that I would not be spending much time at all in the kitchen—no rummaging through the cabinets for a snack, no going into the fridge several times each evening in search of a drink, some fruit or ice cream. No cookies, chips, crackers, etc. There would be few dishes to wash after the first night. My sink mostly contained the storage containers into which I measured out pasta and stored the cooked items. One frying pan and one pot for the pasta and later the soup were the only cooking equipment I needed.
Posted by Kathy Moran, longtime volunteer and supporter of Connecticut Food Bank