For the third year, I will be participating in the Agapè Centre’s Hunger Awareness Challenge.
Every year, the Agapè Centre invites members of the public to live off of one week’s worth of groceries from their food bank plus $10.
This challenge is meant to show the weekly experience of the 1,500 people who depend on the food bank.
As in previous years, I attended the Agapè Centre’s food bank and was guided through, getting to pick a few items to get me through the week.
I go through the shelves, I get to pick one box of cereal, one jar of pear slices, a box of granola bars, a can of tuna, a can of pasta sauce, one can of soup, a jar of peanut butter, one can of green beans, a bag of pasta, some sauces, margarine, and one package of frozen steaks.
During the week, I can spend up to $10 on food. I like to cook, so I’m already planning my meals and what I’ll use for each dish. Planning is key, because if you run out of food, or can’t make anything edible with what you have, then you’re stuck.
The first day is always a little rough. I can’t stop at Tim Horton’s to get my breakfast like I usually do, so I grab a granola bar, and make a cup of instant coffee I got from the Agapè Centre.
In the evening, I make one of the steaks and the green beans. I save the second steak. I use that, the pasta, and teriyaki sauce to make a stir fry that is my lunch and dinner for the next day.
Having done this challenge twice before, I know that I can manage and get through it. On Friday night I can make myself a feast, but for 1,500 people the Hunger Challenge doesn’t end on Friday.
The Agapè Centre has seen the demand on its services rise over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have 300 more people who rely on their food bank now than they did in 2019. Of the 1,500 people who use the food bank regularly, 500 are children.
Please consider supporting your local food bank, especially as we approach the holidays.
Editor, Cornwall Seaway News