By Sue Brockway
After a recent trip to buy groceries, I came out with 3 bags and minus $82.00. My goal was to make meals for one week with no processed or junk food. I had $22.00 in vegetables and fruit, $19.00 in protein, $12.00 in dairy, $16.00 in grains and pasta, and the balance in household supplies and taxes added on.
When I got home, I looked at what I had purchased and realized I could probably get 21 meals and 5 snacks out of the bags……but no more. So how does a family of 2,3 or 4 do the same? They do not.
My garden is not yet yielding so I have to look towards purchased food for 3-4 more weeks. Processed foods would have been cheaper, but the nutritional content on a number of items were not as good, leaving many with a choice of either healthier options or those that are more cost effective.
Families are under siege with rising costs, and I am not sure those who legislate ever have to make these kinds of choices when they shop for a week’s worth of groceries. I have an idea: Continue the Food Stamp Challenge— ask our representatives and congressional leaders to shop for a week with a budget of food stamps and see what they come up with. I know of number of our leaders are trying to make sense of the budget and how to get more food into the hands of those who simply cannot make ends meets. There are also some who most likely do not ever consider those types of choices.
How do we get the message out, how do we help families eat better and with more nutritional choices? Let’s talk about the options……agree to disagree but please use your voice to make a difference.
On another note, we will be traveling across Iowa cooking for RAGBRAI to reduce childhood hunger beginning Saturday. Please check out the RAGBRAI spot on our website and see daily pictures, video and blog entries throughout the route. Visit us in Missouri Valley, Underwood, Kimballton, Grand Junction, Ames, Green Mountain, Toledo, Belle Plaine, North Liberty, Mount Vernon and LeClaire. See you there!