West Seattle Food Bank update #1: County exec’s $7/day visit

March 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Two West Seattle Food Bank updates to share this afternoon. This story is the first one:

(Photos courtesy King County Executive’s Office)
County Executive Dow Constantine visited the WS Food Bank this morning as part of his participation in the United Way of King County‘s Hunger Action Week, calling attention to the fact that 1 in 7 people in King County deal with hunger – 1 in 6, nationwide. Via his Facebook page, he wrote:

The helpful volunteers and staff showed me the real challenges people face to get access to nutritious food. Working families, kids, and seniors rely on this valuable community asset, and I am thankful for their good work.

Today’s breakfast as part of the Food Stamp Challenge – three meals on just $7/day:

1/2 cup cereal: 20¢
2 oz soy milk: 22¢
Banana: 19¢
Coffee: 38¢
Total: 99¢

Here’s more information on the Food Stamp Challenge.

7 Comments

  1. I’m glad that County Executive Dow Constantine is bringing attention to the issue of hunger.
    It’s not just people on food stamps– many people are living below the “living wage.”

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a link so you can calculate the living wage (approximate, remember that your mileage may vary) for your town.

    http://livingwage.mit.edu/

    Comment by happy — 1:38 pm March 26, 2013 #

  2. Love it, very cost effective!

    Lose the coffee, and it will be even more price friendly.

    Comment by West Seattle HIPster — 2:51 pm March 26, 2013 #

  3. Dow has been a supporter of the West Seattle Food Bank for many years. He is one of those people in our community who not only talks the talk but he also walks the walk. Thanks Dow for your unending support of our neighbors in need especially in your own community of West Seattle.

    Comment by Pete — 3:01 pm March 26, 2013 #

  4. I am very happy that more attention is being directed towards hunger issues. I realize hunger is prevalent through the whole world, but we do have this also in the U.S. and here in Seattle. I personally use Food Stamps for my family…I am fortunate to know how to make them stretch. Many families don’t. They also think that buying the cheapest foods are the best..sometimes that’s all they can afford, so therefore,this may cause them to be unhealthy. I think it is good for folks to give the food stamp challenge a try, however, we also need classes available for families to learn how to budget the little amounts they may receive. One thing I am doing as a member of a low income community,is educate myself in healthier ways to eat( more than what I already know) and use what I do receive to the best of my ability. I will also be having community meetings/classes to help others. Hope more folks can do this also…Peace

    Comment by Cynthia Clouser — 4:41 pm March 26, 2013 #

  5. When helping a friend recently I was shocked to discover that the average amount of nutritional assistance for a single adult is $35 a week and many don’t qualify for that. This assistance will not cover toilet paper or tampons. I went with her on her first visit to the WS food bank. On a Tuesday we waited for 3.5 hours for her number to be called (you don’t have to wait there). She was offered a variety of food items, a handful of donated garden veggies, a prepared food item (cold pasta salad) expiring w/in a day, bread, 1 envelope dry milk, 2 kids yogurts, dried beans & rice and lots of expiring pastries. I guess you’re supposed to purchase protein (aside from milk & beans) and fat using your foodstamps.

    What I learned is that it’s not easy. I can be creative in the kitchen but I would have been unable to make complete meals for the week with the items she walked away with. So I guess, if you’re able donate. Every part of our community was represented: elderly, children, disabled, immigrants, middle class people obviously dealing with long term unemployment and young single people. It was an eye opening experience for me.

    Comment by Heather — 9:02 pm March 26, 2013 #

  6. I have been unemployed for 8 months – voluntarily, I will admit, so I am not eligible for any assistance and am living off my savings. I have set myself a weekly grocery budget of $40 and have managed OK – even able to squeeze in 3-4 coffee shop trips (drip or Americano) and some kind of treat. This amount DOES include non-edible items like shampoo, tampons, detergent etc. 

    My diet revolves around the following staples: oatmeal (stovetop, not instant), beans and rice, garbanzos, red lentils, potatoes, carrots, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables, cream cheese, whole milk (yes, with the fat!), and lots of seasonings to make it taste great. I take advantage of the Just4U savings with the Safeway app which I check weekly and organize my purchases around. 

    I do not have a car and do not want to spend money on bus fares, so I walk my shopping (which can be rather heavy!) home a distance of almost 2 miles. I am lucky to be in good shape and able to do it.

    My best friend is my very basic crockpot which I bought ten years ago. It makes the business of cooking beans a breeze. I get them started in the morning, and at dinner time it takes only 5 minutes to make chili.

    But, you know what? Even when I am earning a decent wage, I still eat the same way. I just shop at fancier grocery stores:)

    Comment by Last53BusRider — 8:56 am March 27, 2013 #

  7. What’s in the bowl? Is that food or hamster cage pellets? I eat steel cut oats. Rolled oats are just as good. Other than that they’ve been cut or rolled, I’m pretty sure they are real food. Not sure what the stuff labeled ‘cereal’ in the bowl is. Food meal product? Always opt for real food! Accept no substitutes.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 6:44 pm March 27, 2013 #

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