Don’t worry, I’m only joking: it’s not an actual diet (how absolutely horrible would that be?). But it is gaining a lot o much-needed attention: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton recently went for a week on a “food stamps budget” as part of Hunger Action Month. Stanton lived on only $4.16 a day — or approximately $29 per week –as part of a community challenge.
“It’s only for a week, so I’ve got a decent attitude. If I were doing this with no end in sight, I probably wouldn’t be so pleasant,” Stanton said on Facebook. He stated he was “barely” able to meet his needs nutrition-wise and instead “relied on ramen noodles, pasta and coffee.” By the end of the week, Stanton had already lost four pounds. [via HuffPo]
Right now, I’m feeling incredibly lucky to have grown up with food on the table at all times. My dad is a Peruvian immigrant and lived in a very poor area, so he was always incredibly insistent on us finishing everything, even if we weren’t still hungry (apparently, this is common in many families with immigrant parents, from what I hear). Being afraid of not having enough seemingly carries on for the rest of your life, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to constantly be unsure of whether or not dinner will be around tomorrow and then attempt to practice “normal” food habits after that. But in a country where 20% of households with children and nearly 15% of households overall reported food insecurity in 2010, it’s an extremely common threat.
It also leads me to feeling extremely guilty when I think about how much food I’ve tossed up or simply avoided. I’ve always been aware that it’s a luxury to be so surrounded by food, I can actually make a larger deal about not eating it than doing so. And that makes me feel quite rotten, unfortunately. Am I diet-shaming myself? Is that even a thing?
In any case, if you’re interested in volunteering time or donating food to your local food bank, check out Hunger Action Month for info!