Hunger Challenge Blog: Day 2

Reflections on Day 2: June 12, 2012

We’re on Day 2, but we still have submissions from Day 1. Our Hunger Challenge is definitely creating some dialogue which is great since this is budget week in California and all. Luckily, CalFresh is a federally funded program so it’s spared from California’s infamous chopping block. That’s why we want to boost CalFresh enrollment, the more people enroll, the more funds we get from the feds pumped into our local economies. So where are we getting all these stats on under enrollment in counties? From the awesome folks at California Food Policy Advocates! You can look up your own county’s CalFresh profile and see what’s coming down the food policy pipeline in the legislature.

Without further ado, a shot of NAPAWF*Sac Board Member Mary June’s groceries and her meals for today:



NAPAWF*Sac Board Member Cecilia writes about the value of having a nearby grocery store and not living in a food desert like so many of our low-income communities:

No, Grocery Outlet is not sponsoring our Hunger Challenge blog... They just have amazing deals!

As I went grocery shopping for items on my Hunger Challenge budget, I had to scope the entire store before even beginning to put things in my basket. I needed to make sure I made the most of the money. The thought process immediately was: What’s going to keep me full? The healthy nature of the food was really secondary at first thought. Meat and veggies were my biggest splurges and the majority of my basket were cheap but filling carbs.

The result? Drum roll, please! 1 bag of spinach, a bag of soon to expire white bread, peanut butter, tortillas, a bag of shredded cheese, ground turkey, a package of hamburger helper pasta, 2 avocados, and a jar of peanut butter. The total? $19.12.

After doing all my shopping, I still realized that I’m incredibly lucky enough to live walking distance to a Grocery Outlet that gives it’s clients some decently low prices even though not all the items are fresh and most are generic, cheaper quality brands. It’s incredible to think about how others have to scrape by because of food deserts. I can’t even imagine trying to craft a weekly meal plan off of expensive and unhealthy food items from a liquor store on this budget.

Cecilia's Groceries - $19.12


Assemblymember Yamada highlights the importance of continuing the school lunch program during the summer so that children have adequate nutrition while they’re on break:

Some may question the wisdom of taking on the Hunger Challenge this week, in the difficult run-up to Friday, June 15 constitutional budget deadline. For those battling hunger, this is the perfect week to highlight that hunger doesn’t take a break. Monday’s meals were raisin bran and coconut milk for breakfast; yogurt and banana for lunch; egg salad sandwich, grapes, and a chicken drumstick for dinner. Am drinking filtered tap water as I did not find a good deal on coffee this year. I already warned my staff (smile). With summer vacation, many children who rely upon the free or reduced lunch program during the school year find themselves without basic sustenance. See for more information on this important nutrition program. Tuesday is a difficult day, with committee hearings, Democratic Caucus where I will eat my chicken sandwich and grapes while my colleagues eat our usual nice catered lunch (which the legislators–not the taxpayers–pay for), followed by bill presentations in Senate Human Services and Senate Veterans Affairs. Additional briefings with staff will be followed by a quick dash to Woodland to attend the Yolo County Farm Bureau meeting recognizing the Future Farmers of America. A perfect group to end the day with since we are focusing, after all, on food. More Wednesday.