Open Arms of Minnesota

SNAP Challenge: A little bit of hunger and a lot of gratitude

By Jeanne Foels

Here’s how I’m viewing my week on the SNAP Challenge: I ended up with a weight loss diet. In my quest to plan an organic menu with enough nutrition (particularly protein, veggies and fruit), I didn’t focus enough on calories. My diet had lots of healthy things in it, but I would end up losing a pound or two every week if I stayed on it – hardly a sustainable proposition!

Taking the SNAP Challenge this week has made me thankful for many things. Thankful that I can afford NOT to obsessively plan my menu every week; thankful that I have the time, energy and knowledge at this point in my life to cook healthy meals for myself; thankful that I don’t have three kids and two jobs that would make eating well on a tight budget nearly impossible.

Most of all, it has made me thankful for Open Arms. Realizing just how much time, effort and money it takes to eat delicious, organic meals made me appreciate the work we do all the more.

Our clients may not have hours to plan out a week of nourishing meals. They might not have the energy to cook every night of the week. They may not have the knowledge or drive to make healthy choices for their illness. Add in financial strain, and the odds are stacked high against getting really good nutrition in the face of a life-threatening illness.

I’m thankful for the countless volunteers, donors and staff members who work hard to make sure these clients don’t have to worry about their diet while they’re facing the fear, stress, cost and loneliness of living with a serious illness. I’m grateful that we can ease their burdens and aid their health by reaching out with real, delicious, high-quality food. I’m thankful that we can tell them: We are here so you can focus on healing, not groceries.

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