Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Greetings, everyone!

I'm reviving my blog after an absence of 3.5 years. Oh my, how is that possible! I guess we can thank Facebook.

Why am I back, then? Well, I'm starting a project tomorrow (Oct. 1, 2014) and Facebook just isn't the right place to write about it. I need a forum that will allow longer-form writing, so here I am, home again.

The project I am undertaking is a challenge to myself to live within the food budget allowed to SNAP participants. I know the amount per-person varies (I've worked for DHS in the past and did a lot of food stamp cases in the dark ages, so I know the variables.) For the purpose of this experiment, the budget I will be using is $4 per day for food. Wow. Will it be tough? You bet. But I have a lot of reasons for wanting to test myself this way.

As I posted on Facebook, I read a newspaper story by a reporter who had decided, with spouse, to attempt to live a week within the SNAP guidelines. The story wrote about how hard it was to stay in that budget and how painful hunger is.

Here is my personal challenge: I want to try this for the month of October, not just a week.

Here are the things I have to work out: I have a lot of food in my home. The more I have thought about this project, the more I realize I could survive a month -- maybe longer -- on my pantry and freezer. But I can't then turn around and say I spent zero dollars and did just fine.

To try to do an honest test, I have decided this will be a two-part experiment. First, I will live on these resources and try to give a honest price to what I use, for however long they last. After that I will report when I start spending again on food and see how I do with $4 a day.

I welcome anyone who feels led to walk this road with me. I'll post on my blog as we go along.

There are several reasons I feel called to this. First, if we expect the least among us to survive on this amount, I want to know I can, too. Second, if there is information I have or knowledge I gain that could help someone else, I want to share it. Third, this is the harvest season. I am grateful for all I have --in abundance --and I want to be mindful of these gifts and not wasteful. This is one of my biggest sins.

Hope you come back tomorrow and join me on this journey!