Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days.
Day 2: It is hard to concentrate when you are hungry.
I woke up craving eggs this morning. I had oatmeal with brown sugar. One serving today. For lunch, I wrapped leftover black beans and rice in two soft taco shells with salsa and packed it away to bring with me to work. It traveled better than I thought it would. My colleagues went out to lunch together today. I did not. For dinner, I made lentil soup with onion, celery, carrot and the diced tomatoes. I missed putting potatoes and zucchini in it. I put in extra salt in place of the pepper, thyme and other spices I usually use. It is pretty good. Not great. My family had french fries with their dinner tonight. The smell was almost too much to bear. It was interesting to me that their three orders of french fries equaled what is almost a third of my week’s budget.
This morning when I was making lunches for the kids, my son, who is 11 years old, asked me if I could make him two sandwiches tomorrow for school. He was hungry after eating his lunch of a cheese sandwich with mayonnaise, tomatoes and spinach accompanied by a small packet of smart food (a puffed corn snack), a large cucumber from our garden, some ginger snap cookies and a cereal bar. This wasn’t just a sandwich with a slice of cheese, it had large chunks of mozzarella cheese in it. It seems that each day, he eats his weight in food. He is growing so fast. He told me it was hard to concentrate after lunch. It is clear to me that he would not do well on this challenge. Tonight, I’m thinking about the children in Connecticut his age that have no choice.