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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is There Enough Food for Everyone?


Hunger Facts
  • 1 in 6 people in America do not have access to enough food
  • The vast majority of people receiving aid for food are working adults
  • 17 million children are living in food insecure households, school lunch programs do not cover this
  • Food Insecurity affects even people of all education levels
  • The lack of adequate nutrition in children, affects not only their physical growth but their cognitive and behavioral development
  • Children from food insecure houses do less well then their peers from homes where there is enough food
  • Food insecurity affects rural households with less access to available food, food pantries and food banks
  • More than 50 million Americans don’t have access to adequate food

What is First Fridays for Food Security?
The United States Council of Catholic  Bishops has issued a challenge to American Catholics. They are asking us to consider Food Security. Many people around the world, including here in the United States have a problem with food security.  A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Food Security is a problem not only in third world countries, it is prevalent here in the United Sates too. In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States
How can I make a difference? On every first Friday for a year, eat meals that cost only
as much as is allotted for a family of your size by the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan. (You will need to divide the weekly cost by seven.) The USDA Food Plan is used as the basis for food stamps. For some you  may notice a disparity between the cost of their normal meals and the amount allotted in the food plan. Especially if you eat out often.  You may have to economize in order to stay in budget.
Many religions, including Catholics have a long history of fasting. If your reduced First Friday Budget requires you to fast you may take this time to consider while you are fasting for just one day, voluntarily, this is the normal state of food for 17.2 families her in the United States, and countless others in third world countries.
If you are interested in joining up with the First Friday Fast you can do so every first Friday through April 6, 2012. If you like you can chose to extend the fast for the entire week. We may opt for that during Lent. If you would like to join the First Fridays for Food Security Challenge you can do so here or join the USCCB on Facebook
My family will be joining this challenge. My goal will be to create 3 healthy and nutritious meals, perhaps snacks for my family of five. Since my husband eats at work I will include the cost of his meal in the plan. I hope to show that a family can eat and eat well on the thrifty meal plan. For us that means a Friday Budget of $24.64. Subtract the $3.75 for my husband’s lunch at work and that will leave me with $22.79 for the day’s food, about $10 a meal or $2 per person per meal. This does not sound like much be the nice thing about a family is that we have a certain economy of scale. I find it easier to feed family thriftily than a single person or a couple.
I am curious to see how my reader will do and I would love for you to share your experiences here. The next First Friday will be October 7th, be sure to come back and share your experience here.
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mrs green @ littlegreenblog said...

I'd love to join in and am trying to figure out what the equivalent expenditure would be for the UK. I'll do some research and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the inspiration!

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Happy to have you on board with this challenge, Mrs. Green, I don't know if the UK has a similar assistance program. But the USDA has various meal plans thrifty, low cost, moderate and liberal plans. But any low cost meal plan would help to bring attention to food insecurity. I would love for people to share their experiences here, so be sure to come back and let us know how it works out.

Crunchy Con Mommy said...

Lol I think that's pretty much how we eat already! For example, last night we had half a baked chicken breast each (paid $1.99/lb) plus one jar of $1.50 spaghetti sauce and half a box of noodles that cost $.99 originally. So our entire dinner only cost about $4 to feed our family of 3! We have that meal twice each week usually.

I guess we're already thrifty-we just need to do more of the donating to charity part too!

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I am with you, I don't think it will be a problem to cook dinners under $10 for my family. When I did the $5 Slow Food Dinner challenge I cooked a three course meal for under $10 for the entire family. I had a budget of $25 for the entire family. But for me this will be a good exercise in budgeting as well.

Adrianne said...

What a great challenge. I just cook for me (well, I also make my daughter's baby food but that's not really a big part of the meal plan) since my husband eats at work and will often bring home leftovers. But it's certainly a challenge staying within a budget... I keep costs down by having eggs and toast for breakfast or lunch.

Found your blog at the Monday Hop and following you now! Hope you get a minute to drop by Happy Hour Projects to say hello!


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