“Time” didn’t come in my hamper

June 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm 4 comments

10-day Emergency Food Hamper for 2-3 people, minus the pasta

I consider myself pretty informed about emergency food – but in one day with “A Week in Their Kitchen” I’ve learned so much that I could never set out to learn from books, documentaries, even interviews. I value the way this experience is making me think. I know that things like “time” are a luxury, and that those who struggle to make ends meet have much less of it, and much less of that other precious luxury… leisure time (or money to spend on leisure).

I spent close to an hour at the Food Bank. I live and work in the NW and it probably takes me and hour to get there and back. It took me extra time to sort through my hamper and figure out what I could make with its contents. It took me extra time to prepare lunches today, and I had to make sure that I planned to pack a dinner for my husband as he won’t be home after work (coaching Ultimate and then playing Ultimate). BTW – Mark forgot his packed with love lunch/dinner today. That would have been disasterous. Luckily I caught his attention in time. Now he’ll have a full belly all day.

As I sorted my hamper I realized I had pasta sauce but no pasta. I was pretty sure that pasta was a “guaranteed” item, but maybe you get rice or pasta, and I did get some rice. Turns out, I should have received pasta, and my hamper slipped past the inspector. Keep in mind, the Food Bank relies on over 100 volunteers every day, and this can happen. So I’m going to try to make potato gnocchi tonight, but I think I need that pasta. It seems crazy to return to the Food Bank for one bag of pasta (even for two!) but it would stretch my hamper farther if I had it – and would allow us to eat something that’s pretty typical for us.

More time. I need to get back to the Food Bank. That means taking transit or juggling schedules to get the car. Can’t go during work. Can’t go tonight because Mark has the car and I have puppies to take care of in his absence. This is also becoming an expensive bag of pasta. It will cost me in terms of time, energy, gas or bus fare. I’ll have to arrange to get there tomorrow night – seems like a lot of hoops to jump through just to eat. This happens, I’m told. And when it does, client’s call the next day and then arrange to pick up the missing item(s). I can’t imagine if I had kids to juggle as well. This pasta better taste good…


Entry filed under: Erin.

And so it begins for Tim and Leah … Plantain Chips! Who knew?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob McLeod  |  June 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Just curious who your husband is…I play ultimate as well and I’m wondering if I know him.

    By the way, great post 🙂 It’s amazing how much food you get for a week! I guess maybe not that much if you have a family…

  • 2. armikaipainen  |  June 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Mark plays in B-1 (I think that’s what he said) for the Swingers…

    It’s definitely a lot of food – I won’t be hungry, but it’s not satisfying and there is limited choice. I’m finding it really difficult to come up with combinations that taste good and fill us up! There are certainly lots of calories here, but not a lot of protein (well, not what we would usually eat (we have tuna, eggs, milk, peanut butter and hot dogs) and absolutely no fruit (plantains are veggies, right?)

    Also, we are participating in this challenge for a week, but it’s actually a ten-day hamper. In Toronto, participants had a 3-day hamper that they tried to stretch for a week. Different city, different food bank).

    • 3. Rob McLeod  |  June 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      Interesting how it differs that much by city…

      I like all that protein so I probably wouldn’t have had a hard time coming up with some food ideas 😛

      That’s ironic he plays for the Swingers…I’m actually running a clinic for them this coming Sunday 🙂

  • 4. armikaipainen  |  June 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Really? Small world! Mark will still be on the Food Bank diet on Sunday – but we have some lactose-free strawberry meal replacements – maybe they’ll keep his energy up for Ultimate.

    Peanut butter is a breakfast staple for us anyway. I like tuna but we don’t have any mayonaise. I guess I could make some with my limited eggs and vinegar.

    We love eggs, but the eggs from the Food Bank are “minies” that they purchase at a discount because they are too small for stores – so we’ll have to make them last.

    Hot dogs – well, I am a mostly-vegetarian, and let’s just say I haven’t had a hot dog in 16 of my 31 years.

    I could go for a simple (and cheap) block of tofu.


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