This week I’m taking part in a challenge to raise awareness around hunger. As of Monday, I’m eating as a client of the Agapè Centre would eat.
I’ve been given a limited number of groceries from the Agapè Centre’s food bank and had a budget of $10 that I could spend throughout the week.
The goal of this exercise is for me to share my experience of what everyday life is like for someone supported by the food bank, while at the same time, I’ll also be raising money for the Agapè Centre.
I’m also allowed to eat at the Agapè Centre soup kitchen, but I haven’t taken advantage of that service yet.
The first take away I have from this experience is that living with food insecurity, on a restricted budget, is a life of choices. I can use butter or oil for cooking, not both, I was allowed to take either peanut butter or jam from the Agapè Centre food bank, not both, and I can drink either milk, tea, or water, but I guess tea is a combination of milk and water anyway.
As for my $10 budget, I found even more difficult choices there. I could get a lot of junk food for $10, but instead, I wanted to stretch that as far as I could and get as many food groups and flavours as I could.
For $10, I got four ¼ chicken legs, an onion, half a pound of green beans and a lemon. Right there, I think I have two or three dinners.
I consider myself a competent chef, and I love cooking flavourful meals with all-natural ingredients, and I’m going to give it my best shot this week, but I could see how living with food insecurity from day-to-day would wear a person down eventually.
I don’t have to make choices about buying simple medication like Advil, but I’m sure that there are those who do. I’m someone who likes to have a beer or go out for dinner and this week I will abstain from that, but I could see that being untenable for me to keep up in the long term. I also can’t go to Tim Hortons, which is a place I would frequent on a daily basis. Tim’s is something I’ll miss this week, but there are those out there who cannot afford to go to Tim Horton’s at all, and buy groceries, or pay rent. There are so many difficult decisions that those living with food insecurity face every day, what I’m experiencing is only a small glimpse into that world.
The Agapè Centre’s food bank and soup kitchen provide an important service for our community and I’m sure that there are many who depend on this service.
The Agapè Centre’s soup kitchen serves roughly 150 individuals daily. Their food bank serves around 1,700 individuals every month.
Along with my experience in the Hunger Awareness Challenge, I am also raising funds for the Agapè Centre. If anyone would like to contribute to my fundraising campaign, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a cheque to the Agapè Centre with a note stating it is to support Nick Seebruch in the
Hunger Awareness Challenge. Cheques to the Agapè Centre can be mailed to 40 Fifth St. West, Cornwall, ON, K6J 2T4.