Day 6- Lisa
This week has truly changed my perspective about hunger in the United States. In my role as a public health dietitian, I often educate low-income individuals on the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Until this week, I never truly understood the struggle that they are faced with when trying to consume this healthy, well-balanced diet on a very limited budget. Now I know that it is extremely difficult.
Although I haven’t run out of food this week, I definitely have not been consuming well-balanced, healthy meals. My limited budget forced me to choose more processed foods and many less whole grains, fruits and vegetables than I usually would. As a result, I have felt sluggish. I have been preoccupied with food, and it has been hard to concentrate. I can’t help but wonder how I would survive living on this food budget while working a full-time (or maybe two) jobs, as some people do when trying to make ends meet.
I will use what I have learned from this experience when I provide nutrition education in the future. I will involve the participants in the discussions, get their feedback, and ask them to share their own personal tips for eating healthy on a budget. I will encourage people to increase their intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and I will be sure to provide examples of ways to do this that are realistic and affordable. I will promote programs like Double Up Food Bucks, which provides SNAP recipients with a one-to-one match to purchas healthy. locally grown fruits and vegetables. I will encourage them to do the best that they can with what they have.
While it has not been fun, it sure has been worthwhile. I would strongly recommend taking the SNAP Challenge for a week if it is something that you have never experienced.