Postbourgie Global Hunger Challenge.

SNAP (food stamp) participation at an all time high.  Slightly better, yet still outrageous, are global hunger numbers.  People, in case you haven’t noticed, are hungry.

My day job deals with food policy (and hunger).  I’ve subjected almost everyone I know (and if I haven’t, your turn is coming) to my rants about food and the need for available, affordable, appetizing, safe, and nutritious food for everyone.  It’s something we’ve covered here at PostBourgie as well.  It is a huge problem, that in lots of places, is only getting worse.  This week’s US poverty numbers show more and more people worrying about “food insecurity” hunger.

Since a lot of PB is already working on a running challenge, I’d like to throw a food challenge into the mix.  Quadmoniker and I will be partaking in InterAction’s Global Hunger Challenge.  You can find more rules on their website, but the deal is that from today until next Friday, you pledge to eat off of $34.33 a week.  That is the amount of the average Haitian food budget*.

Because of some prior commitments, I can’t do the entire week, but I am going to pledge to do Monday through Friday.  That works out to $24.25 for the week, or about$4.90/day.  That amount will cover everything I eat- breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.  It includes any beverages (milk, juice, beer), any spices, anything I eat.  I’ll be posting updates along the week, and hopefully sharing some more info about hunger.  One of my favorite things about PB is the commentariat, so I hope at least some of you will think about taking this on for a day or two.  I’ll jump off my soapbox now and hand it off to quadmoniker. . .

As Nicole said, the challenge works out to be a scant $4.90 daily, and I think I’ve already blown my budget today with the purchase of a Selzter water from the corner store at work. For me, this will be a particularly enlightening challenge because I like to think my budget is fairly austere relative to many others I know: I make my food at home, I order takeout extremely rarely, and I shop for bargains. But little things, like seltzer water, add up. Also, like Nicole, I have a few prior commitments I’m working around, but I’m still going to keep track of those purchases to see what a difference they make.

One interesting nugget: I have already purchased and prepared a lot of the food I’ll be eating next week. Trying to tease out the exact cost of the one slice of pumpkin bread I ate this morning will be hard to do. I used a portion of the pumpkin I purchased at the market Sunday and already had the pantry items that went into the batter. But I’m hoping this is a useful exercise, since many of us don’t really know how much we save, or sometimes don’t save, by cooking at home.

*adjusted for purchasing power parity


Fur coating and shit.

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  • Darth Paul

    Outstanding cause.

    Is there a food education component to your line of work? That, to me, is one of the greatest issues in low-income citizen areas. (Low-income immigrant groups *appear* better educated on nutrition and thus tend to eat more wholesomely.) A lot people in my neighborhood cook- if they cook at all- minimal-prep/packaged “fast food” due to having grown up that way. Greater availability and low costs wouldn’t make much difference in their eating habits other than frequency. Social services like WIC disseminate paper information and smaller lecture style modules, but a more hands on approach seems necessary…at least in my city.

  • Good post…

    I keep track of our grocery receipts, our family of 3 spends $80 to $85 a week. We were Trader Joe’s loyalists who moved down market to Fresh and Easy when my wife’s wages were cut and her furlough days kicked in. Doing the math on the higher figure I quoted – $85 a week, that breaks down to $12.14 a day, split between the three of us is $4.05 a day. We all take our lunch to school/work, and I eat breakfast at my desk (oatmeal, fruit, tea…).

    I think our budget is “do-able” because we prepare and cook our meals from scratch for dinner, take out is for the special Friday or Saturday night. Burgers, Chicken and Waffles, Meatballs – we do it at home so we don’t feel deprived. Get the grill going and we have BBQ. Even the day out with my boy involves packing snacks and juice/water instead of McDonalds.

    We could go even cheaper if we did the Farmer’s Market deal. But the expense of driving to Farmer’s Market and incompatible schedules make it not a practical choice.

  • I sat down over the weekend with these numbers, our weekly food plan and a calculator. With 2 teenagers eating us out of house and home and 3 kids on school breakfast and lunch there is no way to get to us down to $1.63 per meal. We normally spend 2 days worth on milk for the week alone. Honestly, I didn’t even come close to these numbers after severly cutting what we normally buy. Sucks but true.