Trinity Place Shelter is a tiny, little shelter for homeless youth located in a church basement. Despite the location, no religion is thrust upon these kids. I volunteer and teach periodic cooking classes to the kids who are interested. I preach the gospel of vegetables.
The more we openly speak about the high cost of unhealthy food and how it particularly effects the poor, the more likely it is that our government, and each one of us individually, will do something about it.
If more people would realize how challenging it is to live healthfully off of food stamps that would be the beginning of a real dialogue in America about food costs, hunger and how to eat healthfully on a limited budget.
Sanitizing poverty will prevent us from seeing its horrific effects. We must call it what it is, see the faces of those who are living through its agony, and commit ourselves publicly to taking the steps necessary to end it.
Of course, I have the luxury of choosing to take the Food Stamp Challenge or not, but in taking the Food Stamp Challenge, I want to experience first-hand over a longer period what hunger is like for people who have no choice.
Eating on a food stamp budget can feel like a form of imprisonment -- being deprived of the basic freedom of choosing the food one could want means that the normal choices afforded Americans of simply buying on a whim are no longer possible.