A Month-Long Series: Surviving Food Insecurity

surviving Food Insecurity

Hello Tripping Vittles followers. This is a little something different than I have done before. This is going to be a month-long series. Surviving food insecurity or as I have come to call it “no shame in needing help”

Why This Topic Now?

I am embarking on this project that I feel is super important, but I want it to strike the right tone and give the correct information as not to offend.  I have dubbed this project “no shame in needing help.” It is a way to make people feel comfortable in asking for help feeding themselves and their families.

 A few things have happened over the last two months or so.  The first being I have found the way I want to give myself to my community and people in need.  I have learned a great deal over the last few years about food insecurity. With the pandemic,  many more people who have never worried about putting food on their tables now wonder how to feed themselves and their families.  Others are caring for more people in their homes and could use extra help to find more food and new ways to cook the food they get. 

What Am I doing?

After having some lengthy conversations with friends and people I look up to in the food donation world, I have decided to do a one-month project. I am going to use the resources around Columbus to eat for a month. I am going to show you how you can use these resources. And with what I get, I will show you some possibly new and different, and I hope tasty ways to use the food to make it feed more, stretch longer and taste delicious. 

I very much look up to The Food Soldier, and yesterday she gave me her stamp of approval not only as a great idea but also a much-needed element for food-insecure people. 

What is Food Insecurity?

At this stage, I would like to explain a little bit about food insecurity.  Someone asked me to explain what it is and who is affected.  I appreciated a person who was not themselves food insecure taking the time and care to understand. The following is how I explained it. 

The common definition is not knowing where your next meal is coming from. But it goes deeper and it looks like many things to many people.
If you have ever not had food in your possession to eat when you are hungry. Have you had to choose between feeding yourself or your kids, that is food insecurity.

 Have you had to take a pet to a shelter because you cannot afford to provide the pet and yourself food? That is food insecurity.

When the first of the month rolls around, and you choose to pay rent vs. buy groceries, that is food insecurity.

 Nearly all of us in the suburbs need a car to get to work( we can discuss the need for public transportation another time). Have you had to pick your car payment or gas over food? That is food insecurity.

When I Realized I was Food Insecure

At the first of the month, I realized I was food insecure in that time between jobs where the money is tight, and I had been working in a restaurant where I got a meal a day, five days a week.  Pay rent or go to the grocery store?  I am beyond privileged, and I could dip into a savings account and get a little money, but the realization is if I used that money to eat today, it might not be there for what it was intended later on in life.  The Thing is I am not alone; I have spent money earmarked for my later years to survive the last year.

If this is happening to me for the first time in 53 years. I imagine it must be happening to other people, and as I volunteered and heard people’s stories, it was and is. 

How the Month-Long Project Surviving Food Insecurity was Born

My story is how this project came to fruition. I needed to acknowledge it is ok to ask for help. Yes, it is super scary, but it is also super easy, and the road is paved with fantastic, kind, and generous people. 

How to Survive Food Insecurity

Tomorrow I start on this journey of Surviving Food Insecurity. Today I do a little planning. 

Lesson # 1  Finding Food. 

There are two resources I will share with you today that will help us find food to eat. The first is the aforementioned Food Soldier. Follow her on Facebook. The second is mapping out where to get food and the process. I will do this on Sundays using Freshtrak. You just put in your zip code, and a wealth of food options come up. Over the next month, I will share videos and recipes, and I will show you the food you get. And maybe most importantly, I will show you how a sense of community and caring can make it, so no one is hungry or alone in this world. There will be blog posts, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos I may even tweet some! Follow along, please, and share because we are all in this together!