In Southern Colorado, 1 in 6 families are on food assistance programs. That is a LOT and those family get just $4.50 per person per day for food. I know that I am incredibly lucky to have the means to put food on the table, so I want to raise awareness by taking the challenge to live off of $4.50 a day next week. The way the challenge works is I get $22.50 (of my own money) to buy groceries for 5 days. Knowing that my husband and I can blow that at Chipotle in a second completely blows my mind. It is just for me, if he were participating we would get an additional $12, Here is a video that explains the challenge.
I am accepting this challenge for a couple reasons.
1. Like I said above, this is a cause very near and dear to my heart.
2. I wholeheartedly believe I can eat healthily on $4.50 a day. I know it. One of the number one resistances I hear to living a healthy lifestyle is that it is expensive. I want to show that it doesn't have to be.
3. I want to raise awareness. Every community has a food bank. Are you doing what you can to help your community and those in need? Maybe if this cause touches your heart as well, you can make someone's day.
So my plan.
After much discussion and thought, I have identified three major concerns that struggling families have with eating healthy. It is inaccessible, its expensive and its inconvenient. I don't disagree, but I want to prove that it is not as bad as it may seem. Because of this I am going to buy all of my groceries at Wal-mart (as much as it pains me). I understand that Wal-mart is way more accessible to the population struggling with hunger and on food assistance, so I don't want to show you that you can eat healthy for cheap at Whole Foods. Partially because I don't think you can, Whole Foods IS expensive, but mostly because if you are on food assistance, you aren't going to go to Whole Foods. Wal-mart is accessible and I respect that.
I am also going to focus on convenience. Sure, it is easier to make healthier choices if you spend 3 hours on the weekend prepping your food, but I respect that my audience doesn't have that luxury. I am going to do my best so that the single mom of 4 who works odd hours doesn't have to spend time prepping to be healthy. So my goal is all meals can be made in less than 30 minutes, with lunches that can be packed in less than 5.
It starts on Monday, so this weekend I will create a menu, go shopping, take pictures of what I bought and my receipt, and have a run down of my plan for you. I am excited for this challenge and I hope it brings awareness to those who are blessed and some tools for those of you who feel like eating healthy is expensive or inaccessible to you.