Thoughts on United Way of King County’s Hunger Challenge
Today marks day five of the United Way of King County’s Hunger Challenge and although I didn’t participate in the challenge, which consists of attempting to feed yourself for only $7 per day, it did get me thinking a lot about food costs, food waste and the number of people that don’t get enough to eat.
Seven dollars a day is not a lot. I think in college I mainly lived on ramen noodles and rice and beans, when I wasn’t drinking my dinner, and although it was cheap, it wasn’t healthy. Now knowing more about food, and eating well, I realize what I should have been doing was eating more vegetables, which are both inexpensive and nutritious.
As an employee of Full Circle I often get into discussions with people about our service, about the process and the benefits. I’m an avid proselytizer and believe both in the good we do for our members, their families and the food system, but I often get questions about the cost.
It wasn’t until the Hunger Challenge that I realized that what we offer is really a good deal. In Washington, our Garden box is $34.95 per week. In conjunction with supplemental foods it feeds up to 3-5 people per week. The Harvest box, our largest box, is $44.95 (which is still less than $7 per day) and is designed for people that eat primarily a plant based diet or a larger family. My wife and I go through one of these boxes each week.
We don’t just eat what comes in our box. We buy other things from Full Circle’s online grocery like eggs, cheese, grains, beans, coffee and teas. But being a member of Full Circle has changed the way we eat. We don’t like to waste food, we don’t even like to compost food if it could have been eaten. This mentality has led us to eating out less, cooking more, and packing lunches.
All of this saves us money and in the long run makes us happier and healthier. I know that this isn’t an option for some people, you need some cooking skills and a sense of adventure to tackle a gigantic box of groceries, and it might be hard to eat just what comes in the box, but for many of our members it’s the perfect fit.
Next year I plan to take the Hunger Challenge, and I urge you to do so as well. I’m going to get my box on Monday and eat only what’s in it for the entire week. I’m excited to try and can’t wait to participate.
What do you think? Would it be possible for you to maintain a healthy diet on a Full Circle order only for a week? I’d love to hear your comments.