Folks, we just got a #HungerChallenge update from Teri, Roxy, and Natalie - my neighbors who I've challenged to the #HungerChallenge. For each day they complete the Challenge, I'll make a donation to the SF-Marin Food Bank, up to $10K. They're powering through, but have definitely encountered some challenges... If you missed their Day 1 Update, you can read it here.
Yesterday required some adjustments:
Text from husband at 3:30 Monday afternoon: "I totally underpacked lunch. So hungry."
About 5 minutes earlier I got a call from my rapidly growing 12-year-old daughter complaining of the same thing - "Eight hours in and already I'm SOOOO hungry!" (Truthfully, she probably feels this way most days at this time, since she's entering that phase of development where her waking/sleeping hours are a bit out of whack and so she's not that hungry in the morning. But to stay true to the Challenge this week, she won't have the option of stopping off at the corner store and grabbing some kind of snack...) My suggestion to her? Slice up those potatoes and make potato chips! She thought this was a good idea, so she pulled out the mandoline* and started slicing. This went well until she sliced her finger. (She's OK.)
*Owning sharp, quality kitchen knives - not to mention a mandoline - makes food prep and cooking much easier, but we know that the lack of a functioning kitchen can be an obstacle for many people. Ever try to cut a butternut squash with a small, flimsy knife?
We snacked on the home-made potato chips while we made dinner of lentil soup -- a house favorite (see the not so great photo above). But we got a late start because of various schedules and so we didn't eat until 7:30, by which point everyone was pretty ragged. Natalie told us that she was so hungry during the day that her teachers felt bad for her and gave her an extra snack. She had a little moment of insight that that's probably what happens to lots of kids for whom hunger is a daily reality.
Both my husband and I dreamed about food - but not dreams of sumptuous meals enjoyed with friends in exquisite settings. No, anxious dreams about parceling out cheese (we're from Wisconsin - cheese dreams probably have Jungian meaning). Everybody had an egg for breakfast, and then packed hearty lunches. Leftover soup, celery and hummus, fruit. I also made up some rice last night and sent some to school with the kids. A container of white rice is a treat for them because normally I'd be on their case about the lack of nutrition, but today I'm trying to fill them up any way possible. Both kids have soccer practice today, and two of Roxy's friends are coming over after school. They're like deranged little mice after school, nibbling on anything and everything they see. So I'll have to make sure to be clear about what they can and can't eat or we'll be out of snacks for the rest of the week.
As the chaos calmed after the morning rush, I looked over at the counter and realized John forgot his lunch... I arrived at work and there's a giant platter of gorgeous chocolate cupcakes to celebrate someone's birthday (see the photo). Staying true to the Hunger Challenge means I have to assume that my colleagues are probably in a similar boat as I am and don't have the resources to pop for cupcakes for a crowd. So no cupcakes for me.
Folks, please check back in throughout the week to see how they're doing and to cheer 'em on. And, maybe do one better and join Roxy and Natalie to show your support for the people in our community who struggle to get enough to eat.