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Today I am joining over 200 other Food Bloggers to spread awareness for Hunger in America.
Have you ever gone hungry?
I have. I’m not saying I’ve gone days/months at a time, but as poor college students with little mouths to feed, I would periodically skip a meal to stretch our budget and make sure the kids got something healthy.
Any mother would do it. Feed their kids before themselves. We have a responsibility to our children to take care of their basic needs – food, shelter and safety.
I was/am lucky though. I have family that always knew when we were hitting an especially rough month. They never took completely over, but they often stepped in to help until we could get back on our feet. Whether it was making sure we had enough money for food, or giving us a place to live.
Beyond our own family, we also belong to a wonderful church (learn more at www.lds.org
). Our church believes strongly in Christ’s teaching of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. They also believe in building yourself up, and standing on your own feet. Across the nation our what we call Bishop’s Storehouse, with basic foods and toiletries. Once your local Bishop has determined how much help you need, they send an order for those things. All they ask in return is that you offer service in some way for payment. Some areas have financial classes to help get you back on your feet as well. It truly is a wonderful program.
Other programs, like WIC and SNAP are also wonderful resources for struggling families. I have personal experience with both, and can say how grateful I am for a program that kept my kids eating when we were struggling financially.
How can we be self-sufficient to avoid going hungry?
Another principle my church teaches is Food Storage. They have recommended that each family work towards having a 1 year supply of food stored. You never know when a hard time will hit – job loss, sudden medical bills, natural disasters.
Since food is one of our very basic needs, we need to make sure we can provide that during the difficult times. We are slowly building up our food storage, but I can already tell you, we have used it many times. Last year when we had a sudden change in jobs, we were jobless for a few months. Since we didn’t know where we would end up, or how our income would change, we began eating our food storage to stretch out the budget, and put some money aside for later. It truly helped us out.
Grow a Garden. Growing your own food is the ultimate way to be self sufficient. Not only that, but a single packet of tomato seeds can cost under $2, but you will get upwards of 20 or more tomato plants from that. That is a lot of money saved! You can then make your own spaghetti sauce, salsa, canned tomatoes for stews, and even eat them fresh. $2 and one small packet.
All these ideas are fine and dandy if you aren’t already in the midst of going hungry. For those currently struggling to put food on the table, here are some budget friendly recipes. These are all recipes I go to when money is tight. The flour tortillas and maple syrup, especially save my family a lot of money, while still providing something good to eat.
(can easily be adapted for tight budgets)
How You Can Help!
I can’t imagine the mothers who constantly go hungry so their kids can eat, or the kids that are going hungry because everyone else is too. It breaks my heart thinking about it. I’m sure it does yours too.
Write a letter to Congress and tell them you support No Kid Hungry, and preserving government programs such as WIC and SNAP.
I also encourage you to go see the film A Place At the Table: One Nation, Under Fed. There is a problem in this country, and it needs to be addressed.
For more bloggers participating in this campaign with budget friendly recipes, visit The Giving Table
and look under the sidebar.