Wednesday, February 18, 2009

$25 Grocery Challenge: Getting Ready

I'm excited to be participating in this challenge and yet also nervous about it. In the past, I volunteered quite a bit at The Bread of Life, a food pantry at my church (First Methodist in Springdale). I remember when a busy day there was 50 families. Now a "regular" day is 90 - 100 families. It's easy to see the affluence in our part of the state and I don't think that those of us who are more blessed realize the great amount of hunger and need that exists right here all around us. I do this project as much out of respect for those who are struggling as for any other reason and will go through this week repeating two things: "That which you do for the least of your brothers ..." and "There but by the grace of God go I. "

I have pulled out my cash for groceries and plan to keep it in an envelope. This way I'll always have a visual reminder of where I am in the process. When it's gone, it's gone. That's a reality that so many NWA families face all the time. I've been near this financial place before after a divorce with two small daughters and almost no child support. The trick was trying to feed us healthymeals while never letting them know how very poor we were at the time. But even with that experience long ago, this is a bit scary to me. The sobering factor is that I have a choice now of whether to do this or not and so many families do not have that choice.

I know that this weekend I will have to spend considerable time planning menues, and then will take my little envelope and go shop. Since we did an excercise a little like this in Leadership Benton County this fall, I at least have a little stratedgy with which to start the week and a menu that I'll share once I know the cost. But since I'm a family of one, I may end up portioning it out to eat on all week. We'll see how this goes.

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