Skip to comments.Could you eat on $5 a day?
Posted on 09/23/2013 1:20:00 PM PDT by wbill
In my work, I see more people who want to focus on losing weight rather than gaining weight, so I dont often stop to think about the problem of hunger.
Its easy to overlook the fact that hunger is still a big problem in in the United States. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2011 about 50 million Americans were living with food insecurity 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.
What is food insecurity? Its the inability to provide adequate food on a consistent basis. For adults, not getting enough food can have harmful effects, but it can be especially harmful for children who need adequate nutrients for proper growth and development.
Im familiar with the Good Shepherd Food Bank so I know hunger exists in Maine, but to what extent? Maine ranks 18th in the nation and second in New England in terms of food insecurity. Since 2004, the number of Mainers facing hunger has increased 50 percent.
The population of Maine is about 1,328,371 the food insecurity rate is 14.7 percent of households, or 200,000 people.
Food insecurity can lead to nutrient deficiencies, delayed cognitive development, asthma, decreased immune system function and increased fatigue. A contributing factor to childhood obesity is the lack of access to healthy foods for children living in food-insecure homes.
My office is situated such that I have a big window facing the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. There is a pretty steady line of cars going through on a daily basis. Fast food once in awhile isnt a big concern, but eating a quick meal from a fast-food restaurant or a convenience store on a regular basis is expensive and the food is usually higher in fat and sodium and lower in vitamins and minerals. If you were to price the items out compared to what you could purchase at a grocery store, it wouldnt be such a deal.
When grocery shopping, nutrient-rich staples such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, steel-cut oats, corn tortillas, dried beans and peanut butter are good choices. Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy choices but can be expensive if not on sale. Canned fruit packed in its own juice or frozen fruit or vegetables are great choices. If you buy canned vegetables, drain and rinse them to remove sodium before consuming.
If you are affected by food insecurity, there are many resources available to help. One way to find them is to dial 211 and ask for resources in your area. Food banks, soup kitchens, etc., are located in communities throughout the state, usually staffed by volunteers. If you dont live with food insecurity but want to help others who do, perhaps volunteering your time at a food kitchen or donating money or food to these organizations would be within your means. Every little bit helps.
SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program previously called the food stamp program. SNAP provides $5 a day to help those unable to purchase food. To see what it is like, try to eat off of $5 a day. Youll get a little more perspective on how difficult it can be for some families in America and right in your home town. Remember that $5 has to include your morning coffee.
Want to do more? The Good Shepherd Food Bank has a calendar showing 30 Ways in 30 Days to help solve hunger. Some of the suggestions include: » Volunteer at a local food pantry or meal site. » Watch the films A Place at the Table or 30 Days on Minimum Wage. » View poverty statistics for your county by googling Map the Meal Gap. » Make a financial contribution to the food bank.
For information on the Good Shepherd Food Bank go to www.gsfb.org. For information on food insecurity in the U.S., check out www.feedingamerica.org.
Georgia Clark-Albert is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor. She provides nutrition consultant services through Mainely Nutrition in Athens. Read her columns and post questions at bangordailynews.com or email her at GeorgiaMaineMSRDCDE@gmail.com.
$5 per person per day would easily double my families' weekly food budget, and also would exceed the "household budget" (food, plus necessities like TP, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc etc etc) as well.
Frankly, I'd *like* to have a budget like that to spend; it would make things a lot easier for me. Especially since I've not seen much movement, salary-wise, in the past 5 years or so. What the heck, at least I still have a job.
Sometimes I wonder what world these pundits live in....
The last I knew, you were considered “hungry” if you missed just ONE of your 3 daily meals in a month. How dumb is that??
I doubt you could eat well on $5 per day.
I do it regularly, thanks.
You could easily get by on $2 of rice and beans a day.
I could spend 10 bucks and make a pot of spaghetti and meat sauce to last me 2-3 days. Or a pot of beans and ham-hocks would be even cheaper. Might even have enough for a box of Little Debbies for dessert...
IF you are making your own food, five dollars a day per person can get a little tight, but its pretty doable.
Well, for the current value of $5, right now on on 23 Sept. Who knows what it will be like next month.
“Sigh. I could eat easily on $5/day, and fairly well.”
Really? Three squares/day on five bucks? Not where I’ve ever lived.
gosh, you’d almost never be able to afford fresh arugula and your latte would have to be made from instant coffee!!!
Maybe not Surf and Turf, but I'd not go hungry.
“SNAP provides $5 a day to help those unable to purchase food.”
A lie, a plain, simple lie.
SNAP pays $200/mo to those who have no money for food.
What a stupid lie this is, and how determined they are to push it on people. They take the ‘average’ SNAP payment, which includes payments to people making plenty of money- people who get say a $30/mo benefit. Then lie that that is what a needy person gets.
Lie, lie ,lie some more.
Last week my wife made a hearty dinner that cost *grand total* $2.05 for three adults and two kids. Total, not each.
Kielbasa zataran rice mix - delicious
Green bean casserole (Green Giant premade)
In case you can’t tell, she coupons.
I do it often enough. And I am very healthy because of it.
What part of "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" is so hard to comprehend? It's to supplement food budget, not act as the whole budget alone.
The author needs to read his own writing. The S in SNAP stands for Supplemental. It was never supposed to stand alone.
2 hard boiled eggs and coffee for breakfast
And orange for lunch and a bannana with a glass of milk
Mashed potatoes and ground beef with gravy and some canned corn
Not go hungry, but not eating healthy, which is the point of the article.
Ramen and Coke does not make for a healthy, nutritionally balanced meal.
See post #12.
5 McD’s double cheeseburgers a day
yup, with 5 of these, plus a vitamin,
one could do quite well
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