Michelle’s initial impressions

June 1, 2010 at 2:13 am Leave a comment

This afternoon I headed to the Food Bank to pick up my emergency hamper and get started on my culinary adventure.

Oh boy, what an adventure it’s going to be. As I  arrived I ran into Darren wheeling out his hamper giant grocery cart full of food. Shocked at the amount of food he had been provided with, I quickly scanned his cart, my eyes coming to rest on a box of cookies sticking out of one of the bags. I thought to myself ‘Self, not only do we get SO MUCH FOOD but we also get cookies! This is going to be fantastic!”

I said farewell to Darren and was led over to Joan, one of the ladies checking in clients, and we talked a little bit about why I needed the Food Bank’s services. She asked for a couple pieces of I.D. and explained the rules of eating from the Food Bank and how to access referral services through the Food Bank. From there I was shown to my cart of food that was already waiting for me (because I am writing an article for the Calgary Herald and had a photographer present I had to come outside client hours and the volunteers had already taken care of putting everything together for me.)

From there Brooke, myself and the photographer disassembled the entire grocery cart, laying the food out on the table so we could grab a few photos. Excited at the sheer amount of food, I dug into each bag, excited to see what I could find. I quickly realized that I will never be able to eat that much food in the course of seven days and will certainly have some left over, but finding balanced meals within the contents is going to be more than challenging. Before I elaborate, let me do a thorough breakdown of what my hamper contained:

2 boxes of bran cereal, 1 stir fry kit (noodles and sauce), 1 box of macaroni and cheese, 6 eggs, 1 container of oyster mushrooms, 4 containers of regular mushrooms, 1 bag of spinach, 3 oranges, 5 apples, 1 bag of baby carrots, 1 caesar salad kit, 4 small packages of slivered almonds, 1 cup of margarine, 2 packages of hotdogs, 2 cans of tomato soup, 1 large bag of fusili pasta, 2 heads of iceberg lettuce, 1 large can of tomato sauce, 2 litres of 2 per cent milk, 1 large jar of sweet pickles, 1 individual bottle of iced tea, 1 can of curry soup, 1 can of beans in tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tuna, 1 can of chicken, 6 meal replacement drinks, 1 roll of toilet paper, 1 package of wet wipes, 2 cans of diet soda, 4 boxes of assorted cookies, 1 box of pancake mix, 1 bag of loose orange pekoe tea, 24 hot dog buns, 1 loaf of whole wheat bread, 8 pudding snacks, 1 bottle bbq sauce, 1 large bottle of cranberry juice, 1 chocolate cake mix (no icing), 1 package of microwave popcorn, 3 individual packages of instant oatmeal, 2 chocolate bars, A bag of assorted hard candy and chocolates, 12 plantains, 1 large bag of potatoes, 2 granola bars, 4 dried fruit snacks.

So, there you have it. Some obvious meals stand out to me – I’ll definitely make a large batch of tomato and mushroom sauce to eat over the pasta. Soup will be good for a couple lunch meals. I’ll relive my college years by snacking on some mac and cheese. I love beans on toast, and while I’m not crazy about hotdogs I’m just glad I’m not faced with eating canned ham for the week. I wasn’t expecting nearly the amount to fruits and veggies I received, even if they are a bit random and none of them go toward making whole meal. As for the plantains – well, I’ll figure out what to do with them. I’m sure they’re delicious if prepared well.

As for all the cookies and candy – it’s not something I’d usually buy for myself (ok, ok, I buy ingredients to make cookies on a weekly basis…now I’ll just have more time for blogging instead of baking) but I’m certain I can make room in my diet for them. It’s only for a week, right? 🙂

In no way does my hamper resemble my weekly food purchases, but I was expecting a lot worse as well as a lot less.


Entry filed under: Michelle.

That’s a lot of food What’s in a hamper?

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