Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Food Stamp Hunger Challenge: Finale

Friday, Sept 17th: I was tired of eating toast and fruit bars for breakfast so I had a bowl of cereal which was sweet?! I looked again at the box: "sweetened wheat & rice flakes with oat and honey granola clusters & raisins" but disappointed that I only found 1 raisin.

TGIF: Bob picked me up early to "roll around the neighborhood, just like the good ole days. At lunch time, Bob wanted to eat a healthy meal so we stopped at Safeway.  He bought organic spinach, a bag of cherry tomatoes, veggie medley and a block of cheese. Total cost: $14. He was gracious enough to share his cherry tomatoes with me. I ate my peanut butter sandwich. At 5 pm, I was starving so I treated myself to a foot long Subway veggie sandwich and spent my final $5...I ate half and saved half for the next day.

Sat, Sept 18th: I had the luxury of a small bit of time in the morning so I made two scrambled eggs and one slice of toast with peanut butter.  My lunch stomach clock went off early at 11:30 so I ate the other half of yesterday's Subway sandwich. We dropped by the Cow Palace Farmers Market which does accept food stamps. The variety of fresh fruits and vegetables again made me appreciate the importance of California's agriculture industry. Vendors came from Merced, Fresno, Petaluma, and Watsonville.

My Takeaways:

I've been a coordinator at my church's Harvest program (sponsored by the SF Food Bank) for the past 10 years and I've noticed the growing number of people/families standing on line each week, and new faces, especially over the past year. And now I know why...

$28 doesn't go very far especially if you want to eat and drink more than water all week. It's also hard to eat balanced nutritious meals on $28/week without supplementing with free food/meals.

I sat through many meetings at restaurants all week and noticed that the establishments serve a lot of wonder there's an obesity problem. And I was also aware of all the food we don't eat that goes into the trash.

As a member of the Agriculture Committee for the past two years, I have come to really appreciate our farmers and farm workers.  This past week made me understand that there needs to be food justice for those who are less fortunate than myself.

Thank you San Francisco Food Bank for encouraging me to do the Food Stamp Hunger Challenge this week.

My thoughts for the week: Appreciation, Preparation and finally....Justice.