My day seven was rather ordinary. I was merely looking forward to the Welfare Food Challenge being over so I could enjoy food again.
The highlights from this day:
- Discovering I had extra beans left over. (Yay?)
- Seeing and handling food (with a fork), but not being able to eat it.
- Realizing I didn’t need to spend the extra $2 that I had saved up for emergency situations.
- Experiencing the symptoms of a cold — coughing, sneezing, drowsiness, phlegm, stuffy nose, and congestion.
It was nice that I had leftover food and money. I didn’t chronicle this earlier, but I had spent roughly $4 on food from Shopper’s Drug Mart, and the rest — I bought from a local Chinese grocery store. I was blown away by how inexpensive the food I had originally brought out to the check out counter was, and had to awkwardly excuse myself from the cashier to buy even more items. Of course, I didn’t know if the food was locally grown or if it was organic. And truthfully, I wouldn’t have cared anyway. I just (1) didn’t want to go hungry and (2) wanted to consume the most nutritionally dense foods.
The Welfare Food Challenge was a personal and mental challenge for me, I wanted to do my best with all the knowledge and resources I had. This meant ensuring my food was nutritionally adequate, and that I would be able to find, prepare and cook the meals. Still, even my best was not good enough. I was hungry regularly, and I had caught a cold on the last day of challenge.
The lamest part of the challenge was realizing I had extra beans left over, and that I was needlessly hungry. I really only had enough beans for one meal, but still — I would have wanted to consume that when my stomach grumbled.
Now that the Welfare Food Challenge is over, what are my next steps? I will…
- Routinely consume less food as a deliberate practice of solidarity with the poor
- Learn more about the food services in the Downtown Eastside, as my colleague and friend would advise.
- Get more of my friends and colleagues to be involved with the Welfare Food Challenge next year.
Our welfare system isn’t perfect, but we can make it better. Let’s continue to petition the government to provide better care for the least among us. $19 is not enough.
Alright. It’s almost midnight, and I have a cold. Ciao.