Day 1 Counting Slices
Did you know there are 19 slices in a loaf of Dempster’s whole wheat bread? Was news to me.
In this household, weeks of planning have gone into a mere five days of living on a food bank diet. You’d think we were off to spend a week in the poorest corner of Haiti. Our food allotment has been divided, re-divided and menu-planned down to the last dribble of milk for coffee.
Did you know there are 19 slices in a loaf of Dempster’s whole wheat bread? Was news to me. Was also news that the usual, bakery-made multi-grain bread my wife Brandy likes has only 13 slices, not counting the useless crusty end bits, too thick for the toaster and too small for a sandwich, which around here get thrown in the compost without a second thought. But when one loaf has to last a week, suddenly we’re paying attention. One slice each for five mornings of breakfast adds up to ten. Eight slices for each of us to have a couple of sandwiches for lunch. Poof! It’s gone.
Between us, we had $16.00 to spend on “discretionary” items. Thanks to Brandy’s relentless scouring of sale flyers, and the grand opening specials at a new grocery store in town, we managed to fit quite a bit into that tiny amount. Yesterday, we could be found in the produce section, debating at length how we might spend the twelve cents we had left over. One cob of corn?
So the first thing I’ve learned is how much effort it takes to live within such limited options. And even then, in a way we’ve cheated. How many food bank clients could afford the gas to drive to four different grocery stores, hunting down that 79 cent cucumber?
Poverty is hard work.
For profiles of all the participants and to read their daily blog about the experience, visit the CCS Food Box Challenge website.