Could You Live on $5 of Food a Day?

Follow us for Challenge news and updates from our participants, including U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, Radio Times' host Marty Moss-Coane and Annette John-Hall of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Co-sponsored by the Coalition Against Hunger & Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Posts tagged "coalition against hunger"

Carey Morgan, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

Last night I came home to yet another bowl of vegetable soup. Tasty, but left me wanting something chewable so I delved into a baked potato. Of course, on tv I saw constant commercials for tasty hamburgers and decadent desserts. And, for some reason, every time I step outside there’s some delectable smell lingering in the air from a dinner I can’t have.

Hunger is not only biologically challenging, it’s also psychologically isolating. Food companies spend more than $30 billion in advertising each year, creating a fantastic mirage of an edible world that the hungry can never access. For me, the temptation will end on Sunday, but for those living on food stamps, advertising serves as a constant condescending reminder of all they can’t have.

Carey Morgan, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

SaladEvery Tuesday, my boyfriend and I have a nice salad dinner together. It’s one of our favorite rituals, which I try to make interesting by changing up the ingredients. 

Since he is also doing the Challenge, our salad last night was about half the size it usually is. Less lettuce, not as many kinds of veggies, skimpy on the chicken, no cheese. As I finished concocting the meal, I realized that there was no way this would fill us both up for the evening, so I made the decision in advance that I would eat less than I normally do so he could have a decent sized portion. 

After finishing my plate, he offered me more, which I declined. He, too, was willing to take a smaller portion for my sake. But in the end it didn’t matter. We both were still hungry.

Doing this alone is hard, but feeling guilty because a loved one didn’t get enough to eat is much harder.

Carey Morgan, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

First, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who are taking the Challenge. As director of the Coalition, I am well aware of just how hard it is to make ends meet. However, being aware and taking the initiative to really step into someone else’s shoes are two different things, so it is so encouraging to see so many people taking part.

When I started on my shopping trip yesterday I had a good idea of what I wanted to get for the week. But what you take for granted is all of the little purchases that add up over the course of a day - my morning cup of coffee from the coffee shop, my 3pm soda from the corner store. Each of those drinks costs about two bucks, which means at the end of the week I would have spent $28 on those two items alone.

Of course, buying these things for home is easier, but at $3, I really had to think about whether I wanted that coffee or the bag of salad that would actually nourish me. The trip got more difficult as I went along, and before I knew it my weekly shopping trip was twice as long as it normally is. 

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Marty Moss-Coane

Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

Radio Times listeners love Marty Moss-Coane for her though-provoking and engaging coverage of newsworthy issues, including hunger and poverty. 

Marty tells us: “I have no illusions about what it’s like to live on food stamps since my fridge and cabinets are full of things to eat. But since we talk about hunger on Radio Times, it would help me as an interviewer to know what it means to live on a food stamp budget.”

The difficulty she anticipates? “Being hungry and being tempted to go off my ‘diet,” she says.