Calfresh Challenge

Eating on $4.18 a day


Hungry and Angry = HANGRY! That was the word of the day on Tuesday.  I had a very long day of work (12 hours), so I tried to space out my eating differently in order to accommodate a dinner time that wouldn’t happen until 8:30PM.  Ugh!  That was horrible.  My breakfast happened at 10:30.  I ate lunch around 1:45.  It didn’t help.  I was HANGRY by 5PM.  This was really bad timing.  I had to drive to a local school district and testify before the school board on the importance of school breakfast.  If it wasn’t the week of the #CalFreshChallenge, I probably would have just stopped somewhere along the way to grab a quick snack.  In fact, I was tempted to do so anyway and just take a big #FAIL on the challenge this year; however, I soldiered on and headed to the meeting with an empty and growling stomach.  I know I’ve endured Congressional hearings that were longer than this school board meeting, but it sure didn’t feel like it last night.  I swear I was there for 6 hours… Well, it probably felt that way because the focus was on breakfast and people kept talking about food.  Not helpful.

At the end of the day, I survived.  I didn’t strangle anyone in a HANGRY rage. That pasta tasted better than it will all week.

Don’t forget to donate!  You can support my efforts, here!

My lunch today (as well as yesterday).  #CalFreshChallenge #HungerFreeSD


Day 2

I rarely eat a traditional breakfast.  Usually it’s just coffee.  During the #CalFreshChallenge, however, I try to get a few calories in with instant oatmeal.  I’m not a morning person, so this is the easiest/quickest/cheapest option.

So yesterday, I skipped lunch.  It was a combination of too much work to do and not having something ready to grab as I walked out the door.  Again, I don’t function in the morning.  Prepping for lunch must be done the night before or it just isn’t going to happen.  Thankfully, I remembered to do that last night, so I’ll have a turkey sandwich and an apple today!  I’m going to try and hold off as long as I can this afternoon because I have a very late night tonight for work.  I’ll probably not get home until about 8PM.  I have a feeling that no matter how long I wait to have lunch, I’m going to be ravenous for that pasta.

Please support the work I do by helping me meet my modest fundraising goal for the challenge.  $5, $10, or even $20 will help the San Diego Hunger Coalition continue this important work.  Please donate here.

#CalFreshChallenge #HungerFreeSD

The beginning!

$20.92 to keep me moving Monday through Friday this week.  This is the average amount of a CalFresh benefit in San Diego.  The first thing I lose is my daily latte at Starbucks.  Sure. Duh. This is without question a luxury item.  I’m embarrassed to say that if I splurged just one day, I would be down $6 already.  Second thing to go is my weekly happy hour with friends.  I mean I could go and probably get a diet coke, I guess.

Ok, enough of my silly extravagances for now.  Let’s get to the shopping!  What did I get?


Food (please disregard that thumb!)!!!

I decided to start small and allow myself some flexibility at the end of the week.

Dannon Light and Fit (Peach 4 pack) Yogurt – $2.79

Pasta (17.6 oz) – 3.59

3 Red Delicious Apples – $1.89

Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread – $3.69

1 Can of Sweet Peas – $.89 (SALE)

1 Can of Green Beans – $.89 (SALE)

Smoked Turkey Deli Meat (9 0z) – $2.29

Not pictured:

1 Jar of Pasta Sauce – $2.16

Total:  $18.19

Not much wiggle room.  I was hoping to get some chicken to throw in the pasta a few days.  Sigh.  #CalFreshChallenge


What I’m doing and why it’s important.

Hello! Thank you for following along with me on this journey. I am back again to document my participation and experience in taking the Calfresh challenge. Calfresh is California’s SNAP program.  What is SNAP?  It stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  You probably know it better as food stamps.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the history of SNAP or the benefits and statistics, but I’m happy to direct you to some great resources if you are interested (and you should be).

Why I’m doing this?  It’s my job.  No, seriously.  I work for the San Diego Hunger Coalition – the sponsoring organization.  I care about my work and I believe in the advocacy I’m doing.  There are a lot of misconceptions about our safety net programs and the people who utilize the services.  I’m here to bust the myths, raise awareness, and speak out for those that are too busy trying to live day by day to be able to have the luxury to advocate for themselves.  If you’d like a quick overview about the challenge, visit my “about” page.  If you’d like to take the challenge – IT’S NOT TOO LATE!  – visit our website!

This year I am also raising money to support the work that San Diego Hunger Coalition does to ensure access to healthy food in the community.  Please contribute to my campaign, here.  My goal is very modest, and with your generous support, I hope to achieve it easily.

If you don’t live in California and want to find out how you can get involved in fighting hunger in your community, google information on your local foodbank.  They are a good place to start.

Thank you again, for joining the conversation about ending hunger.  You can comment here or on my facebook page or reach out to me through the “Contact” page and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have.


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