Open Arms of Minnesota

SNAP Challenge: Freedom

By Kay Mitchell

If I had not acknowledged it before, the SNAP Challenge experience has made me keenly aware that I am a snacker, a grazer, a eat any time, any where kind of gal. Most of my meals are the size of snacks at least in comparison to the food volume that I used to eat before weight watchers informed my food choices.

I generally eat more fruit and vegetables, nice raw crunchy fruits and vegetables than I could afford with my $30.25 budget. I did a good job of planning for protein — both chicken and meatloaf made my weekly menu — and I am using half of the meatloaf to add meatballs to pasta and marinara sauce tonight. I spent $1.99 on a ten lb bag of russet potatoes (Rainbow), and so far, I’ve baked potatoes and roasted them. I will mash a few on Wednesday evening…if I have enough milk left.

So I have full moments everyday. I am thankful that I grew up in a big family and that my mother knew how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the food. But I am tempted to overeat to fill my tummy and I definitely miss my snacks! I did buy crackers to eat with my can of soup at lunch (I know, more carbs) and I bought three clementines which I have eaten when I am desparate (they are long gone!). I bought a $1 bag of salad that I have divided into four meals. Obviously I have given this a lot of thought. I always give food a lot of thought (weight watchers again), but I usually don’t base my food choices on dollars.

I am selfishly happy that the SNAP Challenge is only for a week even though the food challenge is a forever one.

Freedom to eat when I want, where I want and obviously what I want is a freedom that I have taken for granted for far too long. Like all freedoms, I am not free unless all individuals are free as well. This Thanksgiving I will give thanks for all the freedom I have and for the families and neighbors across the globe who deserve that freedom as well. May a few individuals in Minneapolis, who are conscious and aware, share that consciousness about food and justice and full tummies with the world through their thoughts and actions.

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