A First Friday Reflection

I was home sick today. Nothing too major, but no need to spread the germs around. However, I also realized that it was First Friday for Food Security, and since I missed the last two (from moving into my new place and traveling which would have made a 36 hour day of fasting) I really wanted to commit to living on this budget.

Meal Food Cost per Unit
Breakfast Fair Trade Coffee .40
  1 cup cereal .36
  ¾ organic milk .45
Lunch Ginger Ale .20
  Soup- #1 1.50
  Soup- #2 1.00
  Chips and Cheese .55
Dinner Tofu/Mushroom Dish 1.50
  Organic Salad .80
  Popcorn .50
  Grand Total: 7.26

I tried…but was over the budget by more than a dollar!

During my sick and fasting day, I got a call from my friend Nate. We had a fantastic conversation, catching up on our lives  and laughing about good times. In my chatting with Nate, I shared some frustrations that I have had lately. One being the lack of support I was feeling with friends. There is a lot going on in my life right now, some great and joyous events, and some major struggles that I have mentioned. I don’t want to burden others, but was seeking some support.

Nate very carefully said,”I don’t want this to come out wrong or offend you. Kate, you have A LOT on your plate. It’s so much for you as one person. Maybe it is too much for friends to help out with”.

Is he right? I don’t know. But it was major food for thought.

We live in an imperfect world. Today, that became more evident. I witnessed that by trying to live on the ‘thrifty’ food plan that is outlined here. Next to this, my daily food choices look excessive. Worse, if I had chosen to live on what I would receive through the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits, I still would have been over budget. By more than a dollar.  It makes me question, is there enough support for those who need it?

My brain is struggling with this. I KNOW that there is enough food in the world, the problem is access. This has been documented for years. It is NOT that there are too many people and not enough food; it is that we need to a better system of getting food to those who need it. Sharing needs to be our focus.

Could this be similar to my current struggle, seeing that there isn’t enough support from friends to make certain things easier to deal with? Maybe.  I am trying to share this burden, to ask for support. Is it that I’m failing, or it’s too much for others, or its unfair to expect help? I don’t know.

What I do know is that this small lesson makes me more committed to fighting hunger. In a different way, I understand why we need to share burdens. When we share the struggles of our neighbor, it brings hope to this imperfect world.

And hope is something I certainly want to share.


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