Sunday, April 10, 2011

Give Hunger the Boot

I'm lucky. I have never experienced hunger. Sure my stomach has grumbled, but I don't know what it's like to wonder where my next meal is coming from. As I mentioned previously in No one should be hungry I love food. We all do in the office, so helping to erradicated hunger was something we took very seriously.

My sister has long been a proponent of the no waste idea of food shopping. She would rather go to the store or farmer's market ever other day than having to throw the food out. To that end, she HATES food eating contests. She thinks they send such a bad message with all the food that is wasted because people try to eat more than they know they can. I tend to agree with her.

Last year we teamed up with The Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans and Acadian. They are a wonderful organization fighting to eliminate the issues of hunger in the Greater New Orleans area. One of the programs they offer is something that will apply to anyone regardless of where you live.

Through their Hunger 101 program, you can play an online game that gives you a "crash course on living with hunger." Through this game, "you take on the role of someone who doesn't have enough to eat."

You first pick a person by reading backstory on four different "characters." I chose Karen Jackson - a 27 year old single mother who lives with her five year old daughter and two year old son. Next up, you are given a budget for your characters expenses and asked to choose how you are going to buy food - at the grocery store, through applying for food stamps or at a soup kitchen. I choose food stamps and after going through the process was rejected because my income was too high. Now I'm out a day of work and still need food. So, I try the supermarket where I have to choose between items that will reach my calorie count for the week while staying in my budget.

As the game goes on, I have greater appreciation for what this must be like. This online tool is so well crafted that you get frustrated, depressed, confused and concerned while playing. I highly recommend that you try it and pass it along so others can do the same. It will help you think before you buy food you may not eat.

What do you think?
Let me know - Alicia

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