What is “A Week in their Kitchen”?

May 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm 3 comments

“A Week in their Kitchen” is an initiative designed to raise awareness for Husky Help the Hungry Week and the Calgary Food Bank by having media personalities and members of the Calgary social media community, live on an Emergency Food Hamper throughout the duration of Husky Help the Hungry Week.  During the week, participants will share their experience through this blog, and when possible, through their columns, radio programs and news segments.

A selection of individuals and families will be chosen that fit within each of the three major Hamper categories; Pink (1 person hamper), Blue (2-3 person hamper) and Green (4-5 person hamper). They will be asked to give up eating out, their favourite coffee drinks and snacks, unless they find them within the contents of their Hamper. They will receive their hamper by picking it up at the Calgary Food Bank, during regular client hours, so that they can experience exactly what it is like for the more than 140,000 Calgarians who will come to us for Emergency Food Hampers this year.

 Rules of Participation

  1. Participants will come to the Food Bank and pick up their hamper during regularly scheduled depot times to view the process as a client would.
  2. Participants, and all household members, will live on only the contents of the Emergency Food Hamper with the exception of; salt and pepper, oil, sugar and flour (if they are already within the household)
  3. Participants will not buy food or beverages of any kind during the week, nor will they accept food prepared or bought by someone else, such as potluck or snack sharing.
  4. Participants will be allowed coffee and tea only if it is already in their house, or is something available free of charge at their place of employment.
  5. Participants will be allowed to use up to three kinds of spice, if they already have it in their house, and keep track of exactly how much and when they used it.
  6. Participants, and members of their household, will make daily entries sharing their experiences with the Food Hamper on the official blog for “A Week in their Kitchen”. These can be written, or as video blogs.
  7. Participants can take any medication as prescribed by a doctor as normal. but are asked to refrain from using vitamins or over-the-counter medication as people who cannot afford food, can also not afford things like Tylenol or Advil. Our hampers are nutritionally balanced so vitamins should also be unnecessary during the week.

 Participants are encouraged to get their friends, readers, viewers and listeners to make a donation to Husky Help the Hungry Week equal to the value of the food they would normally purchase for that week.


Entry filed under: Calgary Food Bank.

Tim & Leah

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TJ Smiley  |  May 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Good luck to all participants! I’m extremely curious to hear about the experiences.

    This project is a fantastic idea for raising awareness about the actual experience of those who must use hampers from the Calgary Food Bank.

  • 2. Dr. Tania Smith  |  May 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from some of the entries. Erin, good honesty about how all other things are well provided for. It makes me realize that at this phase in my life (not till I was 32) I now have the freedom to eat almost anything of my choice that the grocery stores provide, and that I don’t usually look at prices for my favorite items. That is a luxury. What do I do with that realization?

  • 3. Erin  |  June 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Good question Tania – not sure I can answer it, or that there is just one answer. My conversation with a recent immigrant who is a client at the Food Bank (and getting close to his last hamper for the year) has really made me think about this too. When we’re short on time, we zip to Safeway – even though we groan about the prices. It’s convenient and yes, we rarely pay much attention to the prices. But my conversation has prompted me to think more about the guy sorting produce, or the clerks processing my order. They work there – but probably don’t do all their shopping there. They might use the food bank. They probably pay attention to the prices.


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