The 2009 Hunger Challenge Day 6: Leftover and over


I’m taking the San Francisco Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge – trying to feed my husband (the Bottomless Pit) and myself for just $4 each per day. And, newsflash! Thanks to thousands who twittered these hunger facts, Tyson is sending 100,000 pounds of food to the San Francisco Food Bank!

Taking my lunch: It’s just not the same without a Flintstones lunch box.

Hello, my name is Gayle and I’m…hunger challenged. Today I’ve slipped into Stage 5. I recognize the symptoms from last year.

Meet the 5 stages of the Hunger Challenge:

Trepidation – Do I really want to try to eat for $4 a day? Can I?
Consternation – Hmm…I can’t buy that. What about this? Nope. Hmmm…What will I eat?
Determination – I’ll make it through this! It’s only a week and then I can go back to eating anything I want!
Resignation – That’s all I’ve got, so I might as well shut up and just eat it.
Stagnation – The last two days of this damn challenge are lasting FOREVER! I’ve had leftovers so many times, I feel like I’m chewing my cud.

Yes, I’m not eating a single thing today that I haven’t already eaten at least once this week. The usual oatmeal-banana-peanut butter breakfast: $.29. For lunch, I packed some chili ($1.20) and a pear ($.24), since I was headed for the food bank all day. For the BP, it was another PB&J and some forbidden brownies. I was hoping they’d still be on his breath when we met up at the end of the day. Forget cologne! Give me rich, dark chocolate-breath anytime!

For a non-morning person, it’s tough enough getting up, fed and dressed with all the buttons in the proper buttonholes. Having to pack a lunch, too? Not something I’d want to do very often.

The downside of being at the food bank today is that people there talk about food, food and more food. But at least they’re supportive – it’s their job! Bridget the technology whiz makes me feel better by awarding me with a sticker that says, “Good Progress.” I don’t suppose many people on food stamps get one of those if they make it through the month. Everybody asked me how it was going. “The extra dollar makes it a lot easier this year,” I exclaimed cheerily, trying not to stare at the cake somebody had brought in.

For dinner, more chili ($1.20) with cheese ($.19) on top and broccoli ($.15) on the side. That’s right, a repeat of lunch. It’s not only getting boring to eat, it’s getting boring to read, I bet. The best thing about Day 6 is that I’m now confident we will not go hungry on Day 7. There is food at the end of the tunnel – my early-in-the-week hoarding has paid off.

I wonder if that hoarding urge is some sort of primal starvation-prevention mechanism. Or it could just be anxiety caused by my refusal to plan out every bite I’m going to eat for the entire week and allocating it day by day. Some rebellious fiber of creativity or a need for choices prevents me from doing that.

Well, what better way to end the day that some Extreme Moose Track ice cream? I am still trying to figure out why it’s called that. The little fudgy disks larded through it look more like rabbit pellets. Extreme Rabbit Pellet ice cream? OK, maybe not.

Total for the day: $3.52.

♥ Learn about the San Francisco Food Bank.
♥ Read the blogs of people taking the Hunger Challenge. There’s a blogroll here.
♥ Follow the Hunger Challengers on Twitter. There’s a listing here.
♥ Follow the San Francisco Food Bank on Twitter to see how they’re fighting hunger every day.

Gayle Keck
Lowell Thomas Award-winner Gayle Keck has sipped fermented mare’s milk in Kyrgyzstan, dug for truffles in Italy, crafted wine at Napa Valley’s “Crush Camp” and munched her way through every continent except Antarctica, which seems far too focused on frozen food.

She has written for Gourmet, National Geographic Traveler, Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants 2010, and is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post and other major newspapers.

Gayle has visited 49 US states (sorry, North Dakota) and more than 40 countries - though her favorite trip was a flight from Chicago to San Francisco, when she met her future husband on the airplane. She also blogs at Been There Ate That
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