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Could you eat on $5 a day?
Bangor Daily News ^ | Posted Sept. 23, 2013, at 12:27 p.m. | Georgia Clark-Albert

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 don’t often stop to think about the problem of hunger.

It’s 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? It’s 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.

I’m 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 isn’t 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 wouldn’t 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 don’t 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. You’ll 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 For information on food insecurity in the U.S., check out

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 or email her at

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: diet; snap; usda
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To: wbill


161 posted on 09/23/2013 3:48:51 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: patriot08

'older guys' ?    A r r rggggh . . .
162 posted on 09/23/2013 3:49:23 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: F15Eagle
At a company cafeteria, I ate on $1 a lunch. Bowl of soup and crackers. Add in 25 cents for a can of Coke from a 12-pack. In the evening, I would eat a 17-cent pack of Ramen noodles and another can of Coke.

I don't know what the calories were in your company-subsidized lunch soup, but between two cans of coke and a package of ramen noodles, you're getting 560 calories. For comparison, inmates at Auschwitz were fed 1300 calories per day, eventually leading to starvation. A healthy, moderately active person needs about 2500.

163 posted on 09/23/2013 3:51:49 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: trisham
Bought any Velveeta lately ?

Last time I glanced it was like $83/ounce     (+/-)

164 posted on 09/23/2013 3:52:09 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: tomkat

I can’t say that I have. :)

165 posted on 09/23/2013 3:54:06 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham
Me either !     LOL
166 posted on 09/23/2013 3:56:39 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Of course you could eat well on $5 a day.

Fresh chicken, pork or beef, at least on special, can be had for $2/lb. Lots of fresh veggies for an average of $1 a pound.

That’s $3. A daily serving of oatmeal or eggs and toast, plus coffee and milk, leaves you a bit to kick in on cooking oil, spices, etc.

You can substitute in pasta with a tomato meat sauce or quiche or lots of other things for variety on your variety.

167 posted on 09/23/2013 3:59:30 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Mad Dawgg

I’ve heard that claim on more than one occasion.

I would think, though, that if they ate less of the garbage food, they would be able to afford more decent food.

They’re not fat because they’re too poor to buy decent food; they’re fat because they’re lazy to shop for decent food.

168 posted on 09/23/2013 4:00:36 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: tomkat

Sorry. Didn’t mean anything.:)

169 posted on 09/23/2013 4:01:45 PM PDT by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: CMailBag

What is FOOD INSECURITY. A leftist communist phrase invented to explain why we increased our food stamp program by 200% since THE FOREIGNER took office.

170 posted on 09/23/2013 4:03:49 PM PDT by spawn44 (MOO)
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To: wbill

$5 is living high on the hog with no ramen or beans anywhere on the menu. Of course, I do enjoy a pot of beans and cornbread. Last night, we had Chicago Dog Salad that’s a salad with half a package of 70 cent weiners and a sweet mustard dressing - sounds weird but good and very cheap.

I love Schlotzsky’s sandwiches but there isn’t one nearby. Earlier this summer, I ran across the recipe and decided to have a go at it.
Minus the genoa salami, since it’s not sold here in podunkville, I can make 6 homemade sandwiches (1/4 C more flour to the dough recipe) for the $5 price of Schlotzsky’s 6” Original at the restaurant.

171 posted on 09/23/2013 4:04:14 PM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: All
I can get all the meat I want - I mean heart - tongue - kidney - pigs head etc..from a slaughter house 10 miles away - for free!!! I don't even go there as often anymore because they give me so many bags of totally fresh meat that I don't have anymore room in my freezer. I wish I could find some "poor" people around where I live so I would send them there..

That would feed so many families for ever because you can get it anytime - year round - they THROW IT AWAY!!!

People either don't like it - so they are not hungry enough - or just don't know. But when you are REALLY hungry you look somewhere else than at Hannaford. Even at Hannaford actually - the other day I found a piece of pork for $2.95 - huge - I had for 4 days of meat - that would have feed a family of five for at least 2 days.

I am sorry to say that American don't know what hunger is. Ask europeans - they know - the war - they know all the tricks.

But they spend in food before they buy a flat screen tv or iPhones - they buy cheap from farmers potatoes - onions - garlic etc..and store in the cellar for the winter.

My point is that if you really look, here in America, here is free food everywhere if you look for it. Tonnes of fruits and vegetables after a market closes - they throw away what was not sold also. Free meat at the slaughter houses and may be some potatoes that you will have to buy?

And if you live in the country - duck dynasty: HUNT or trade.

I know it's easy to say but the slaughter house free meat is true and veggies and fruits when markets close is also true. Why anyone think of that? I guess everyone has one of those not too far from their home?
172 posted on 09/23/2013 4:04:53 PM PDT by American Dream 246 (Open your eyes. Freedom is not a one day fight. Enemies of Freedom are legion.)
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To: Mr. K

I grow my own arugula.

173 posted on 09/23/2013 4:06:04 PM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

150.00 a month
first go to Sams by bulk meat. chicken breast n strips abt 2.00 a pound.
Go to aldi n pick up staples cheap incl milk n eggs.

go to supermk n get buy one get 1 free.
weekly go to farmers mkt or flea mkt for fresh veggies n fruit

all on food stamps are eligible for free brktfast and lunch at school everyday.
now add WIC.

you can do alot with 5.00 a day if you plan it and use coupona.

174 posted on 09/23/2013 4:06:22 PM PDT by Donnafrflorida (Thru HIM all things are possible.)
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To: Anton.Rutter

It’s good. Really. Everybody loves ‘grandma’s stuffed peppers’ around here.

175 posted on 09/23/2013 4:11:52 PM PDT by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Uh? Really? The 7 day $5 a day menu
176 posted on 09/23/2013 4:11:59 PM PDT by EBH ( Freeman: A person not in slavery or serfdom.)
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To: wbill

I know lots of middle class, working families, two incomes, hard-working, who feed families of four and five folks on $150 per week.

177 posted on 09/23/2013 4:13:09 PM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: patriot08


178 posted on 09/23/2013 4:13:22 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: mrsmith

$200/month comes out to about $6.50 a day.

179 posted on 09/23/2013 4:15:37 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchers?)
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To: tomkat


180 posted on 09/23/2013 4:17:47 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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