Friday, I had grits and toast for breakfast, crackers and a banana for lunch and two hamburgers from White Castle ($.51 apiece) for dinner.
On Saturday, I skipped breakfast. We held a press conference at the Discount Grocery in Berkeley, which is one of the few places where people on a low budget can get some nutritious food. I bought a small container of chicken and dumplings, an apple, a can of tuna, a box of macaroni and cheese and a can of turnip greens (total $2.25). I had the chicken and dumplings for lunch and skipped dinner.
Sunday I skipped breakfast and lunch and made a macaroni and tuna casserole, with greens on the side, for dinner and half a can of peaches for dessert.
Monday morning I finished the peaches and had an apple raisin and carrot bar (purchased Sunday $1.40) on the plane back to D.C. For dinner it was two bean burritos.
When I finished the challenge it was a relief, but not as much as I had imagined at first. As the days went on, I found that I became less hungry, or maybe more accustomed to being hungry. My first meal after the challenge ended was a tuna sandwich, which was good, but I found I was not all that hungry. The same is true with other things, like coffee. During the first few days, I missed my regular lattes (I even got headaches from the caffeine withdrawal), but by the end of the week I had completely forgotten about it.
One thing I have noticed, however, is how conscious of the price of food I have become. I bought a plate of fruit at the cafeteria, and and I ended up paying $3.50 for 14 little piece of fruit, which is outrageous! I am definitely more conscious of how much food costs and how much money is wasted on food by those not on a limited budget.
I know I mentioned before that, having had this experience I can see how people forced to eat on such a budget could develop health problems, but I am certain that the stress of worrying about how to afford to eat is part of it. I have no problem imagining that people on food stamps could get high blood pressure just worrying about how to budget their food expenses.
In closing, I want to thank everyone who tuned in to read about my experience. Obviously, this isn't about me, it's about raising awareness about hunger in the richest country in the world, and it is about building support for a Farm Bill and a Food Stamp Program that reaches more of the people in this country who are hungry and provides them with more than just $1 per meal.