Food Bloggers Against Hunger

Food-Bloggers-Against-Hunger

Today I want to briefly tell you about a very worthy movement going on called Food Bloggers Against Hunger. It was created in response to the documentary A Place At the Table.

Food bloggers across the web were encouraged to participate by creating budget-friendly recipes, sharing personal Food Stamp experiences or taking the literal challenge of only spending $4 at the grocery store.

$4. Wow. That is the amount of money that some people have to use for an entire day’s worth of food when on federal nutrition programs. It may sound like plenty, and could be if you spend it on high caloric junk food and cheap, processed grocery items. However, for those trying to be healthy, it’s nearly impossible subsist on only $4 a day.

I decided that for my contribution to Food Bloggers Against Hunger I would create a meal plan for those that are on a tight budget. Even further I created a meal plan that is allergy-free. That’s right. It is gluten/wheat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, nut-free, corn-free, soy-free, tomato-free, fish-free, and shellfish-free.

The meal plan ends up coming out at $27.71 per week per person. That’s only $3.96 per day. Also, the calorie count for the meal plan comes out to 1939 calories per day. It uses wholesome ingredients and very simple recipes.

Now, let’s just cut to the chase and I can share with you all what I created!

First up, the grocery list:

Shopping-budget

Now Breakfast:

breakfast-rice-cereal-directions

For those without coffee grinders, they could also just cook the rice like normal, or substitute it with oatmeal if they do not have issues with gluten or wheat.

Lunch:

lunch-bean-salad-potato-directions

Many of the meals ended up being vegan because beans are just so much less expensive than meat. Also, for healthy fats I focused on olive oil and coconut oil because those tend to be easier to digest for those with food allergies and/or digestive problems.

Dinner:

dinner-spinach-rice-bowl-chicken

More rice! Again, focusing on getting a lot of vegetables in, but the most cost effective way was via frozen. No problem with that!

And finally, the snacks:

snacks-carrots-seed-butter-ice-cream

Again, if you don’t have a food processor you can just eat the sunflower seeds whole. For the banana ice cream, if you don’t have a food processor, combine the coconut oil with cocoa powder and perhaps a little honey to make a chocolate sauce. Top the frozen banana with the homemade chocolate sauce for an equally delicious treat.

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I thought it would be easy. WRONG. I thought it would be fun. Eh, YES. But would I want to/be able to set aside time every week to rework my grocery list and make sure that I had enough money and calories? NO. That’s why I wanted to create this meal plan.

One of the statistics that surprised me the most about those on Food Stamps (also called WIC or SNAP) is that millions of Americans participate in the program. With SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) specifically, 44.7 million Americans participated in 2011. The average monthly spending budget per month in that same year was $133.85 per person. $133.85/31 days a month equals just over $4.00 a day to spend on food.

I know most bloggers today will be sharing budget-friendly recipes or tips on how to save money at the grocery store, but when I heard about this challenge, all that I could think about was how scared I would be if I was someone who had severe allergies and needed the aid of a food assistance program to survive. I wouldn’t be able to eat the classic inexpensive toast and eggs for breakfast. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch wouldn’t fly either. And just forget about pasta for supper.

If I’m anxious over just thinking about this, I can only imagine how a parent or child must feel who are going through this situation right now.

At this time I want to give you all this link that will allow you to go to Congress and send a quick note to them expressing the importance of their federal nutrition programs. Cuts are being proposed and with cuts comes hunger. For parents and children alike this is just unacceptable and I hope that you will participate and do you part to support this very worthy cause.

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Here is an easy (pinnable 🙂 ) version of the daily allergy-free meal plan just for reference:

Meal-plan-Whole


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Only one question for today: What would you do if you were hungry?

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34 thoughts on “Food Bloggers Against Hunger

  1. This is such an amazing idea and I’m so proud of you for participating in it Madison. I am definitely going to think about this. What a lovely notion – and your meal plan sounds delicious. I’m not even allergic to anything but I’d eat off it anyway 🙂

    • It is certainly a question that requires some thought. And I’m glad that you think the meal plan sounds edible. haha. I was worried that it would seem too boring, but with such a limited budget you can’t make everything gourmet 😛

  2. Wow this is amazing. You’ve done such a great job – your plans look so good. You should definitely be proud of yourself for this.
    It’s funny because looking at the menu I wouldn’t have thought it was for people with allergies, it just looked tasty and satisfying to me!
    I’m very grateful that I don’t have allergies or am in a position where I don’t have much money to spend on food, but I do think it’s important to help out where you can, as you’ve done. I find the best way to save money is use my freezer all the time. Frozen fish and vegetables are so much cheaper, and you can make bulk meals and freeze them for later.

    • That’s so great to hear your positive response. Exactly what I was going for 🙂

      The freezer really is a life saver and I think that’s it’s something everyone (including me) doesn’t utilize nearly enough. I’ve actually heard that frozen vegetables actually have more vitamins than regular produce because they were frozen at their prime. I’m all for spending less money AND eating healthier 🙂

    • Thanks Caitlin. I really enjoyed creating the meal plan, but like I said above, it took a lot of time. I don’t know how those families who really are on limited budgets are able to do it. It’s them that I’m impressed with!

    • I know, right? I don’t even want to admit how much money I spend a day on food, but my consolation is that at least I have a good conscious to not furthering the processed food problem that they talk about in the documentary. 😀 Now I want to take back everything I have ever said about those whose meals consist of tv dinners and packaged meals. I never realized how hard it was to eat healthy on so little money. I’m definitely humbled.

  3. Great post! Last August I tried to live on less than $5 per day, inspired by the SurviveOn35 challenge. It was hard! Fresh fruit, my favorite snack, is so expensive! And coffee, and chocolate!
    Unicef is doing something similar this month, the Live Below the Line challenge, where participants can only spend about $7.60 on food for five days! They must be starving!

    • That sounds like a great challenge! From my research on this post, it is totally doable, but like you said SO HARD. I think that buying things in bulk would probably really help in those cases like the Unicef challenge. But I know some get tired of eating the same thing day after day.

  4. Great, great job Madison! Your post is awesome, and the fact you did a menu plan for an entire day is fabulous, and I know those graphics had to take some serious time. They were really good and worth it. I’m so happy you were a part of this today. Let’s cross our fingers and hope change is on it’s way.
    What I learned through this documentary is food insecure and hunger doesn’t necessarily mean thin, and actually, in many cases it means overweight and obese. I wasn’t expecting that; this whole thing was very humbling and educational for me.

    • Thanks Meghan! I’m so glad that you brought this great cause to my attention.

      They did take some time, and I do feel accomplished with them, even if no one ever uses them! I really do hope that we can make some type of change for the better though.

      I think you make a great point about hunger not meaning thin. We look at those who are undernourished or in poverty in our country and see people who we see and say “What are you talking about? They’re getting plenty to eat!” Um. Quantity is not quality.

      I really need to see the documentary.

      • Quantity is not quality. That says it all. I got it on Amazon, and I hooked my laptop up to the television so the Hubby and I could watch it together. It was really good. Not as good as Food Inc but eye opening nonetheless.

  5. I had to do a project for one of my classes awhile ago that was just like this. I too thought it would be easy and fun until I realized that I only liked vegetables if I could still eat my peanut butter and dates and cacao nibs and greek yogurt and anything else that isn’t in the budget when you’re living on $4/day. Great post:)

  6. I love that you are bringing awareness to this issue, I’m thankful our country has assistance for people who struggle to pay for food, but I feel like they could do a lot more. I know it’s possible to eat a healthy meal on $35 a week, as a poor college student I do it a lot, but I can’t imagine trying to work that out for a whole family, especially if a family member had severe allergies! But I know a lot of farmer’s markets in my area of recently started accepting food stamps which is pretty awesome!

    • The fact that our country does have assistance for these people is important to keep in mind too. I’m glad you brought that up. We are so lucky that we have the funding for these nutritional programs that we do currently, but if they’re cut that could be disastrous for so many. That’s great to hear that your local farmer’s markets are starting to accept food stamps! I’d be curious to find out if mine accept them too…

  7. Wow, what a great meal plan you did! That’s a lot of work, and really informative for people. I don’t think many of us realize how hard it would be to plan it out like this, and consider all of the costs- but I think you did great. The meals look tasty, easy and nutritious! It’s great to participate with other awesome bloggers on this event!

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