Welfare Food Challenge – Day 2

Started the day as usual with coffee and 2 tbls of butter for healthy fats and calories. Then another lunch of beans, rice, and small handful of veggies to last me the rest of the day. Like yesterday – just one real meal. I was also able to squeeze in a spoonful of cashew butter. But like yesterday, am feeling very hungry as I write this. I am not clearly not getting enough to eat.

Here is my lunch. Looks alright, but remember it’s my only meal of the day.

day-3

So what about calorie intake…am I getting enough energy. Apparently I need a little over 2000 calories a day at the current time. I guess if I don’t eat the calories, I start to burn stored fat. Since I am pretty slim, I am not looking to loose weight. I did a simple calculation of my calorie intake today and it was less than half of what I need for a relatively low exercise week. I expect that my energy will start to fade by weeks end.

The Grandview Woodland Food Connection runs a Bulk Food Group. Participants pay $14 for two large bags full of fruits and veggies, which works out to a 40% average savings over retail. We further supplement this food with Greater Vancouver Foodbank donations and Choices Food Market “rescue” food that is organic but slightly blemished, ugly, or near or past best date. Participants leave with alot of food, and for some, this food is the difference between eating reasonable well or needing to go to a food bank.

Participants in this program are all struggling financially, however one defines this. Some are students, some in low wage jobs, on income assistance or disability, a number are pensioners. What is rather shocking is how far participants are traveling to access food through this program. I ask them, “is it worth your time and energy to travel so far”, and without a question, all answer very much so.  Some are coming from Burnaby, Little Mountain, South Vancouver, and the Downtown Eastside. One of our participants has a severe disability and requires a walker. Sometimes she travels by bus, and sometime uses Handidart. She travels from Little Mountain (Main Street) area where she says there is no food as affordable as our bulk food program (even though there are food programs in that area).

My heart really goes out to this woman, who despite her disability, has such difficulty accessing food. And here are many other stories like this.

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