For the fourth year running, the San Francisco Food Bank put out the call to challenge San Franciscans to try to get by on a food-stamp budget, which as it stands today is $4.72 cents per day. Local bloggers Brock Keeling of SFist (who recently showed us, with great aplomb, what a normal week in the life of his diet is like), Amy Sherman of Cooking With Amy, and Gayle Keck of Been There Ate That are all participating in this year’s Hunger Challenge, and both blogging and tweeting about their recipes and miseries during this week of meager-budget eating.
It turns out it’s kind of hard! Especially given the wealth of expensive farmers’ market produce here in S.F. and fantastic restaurants one must eschew! Keeling has yet to sum up his experience, which he’s waiting to do at the end of the week, but he tells Grub Street, “It’s making it so I cannot sleep.” Despite having several urges to go panhandle on the street, Keeling has resisted and stuck to the program, eating mostly oatmeal and chips.
Sherman, being a recipe developer by trade, has been showing off her skills and making things like bean-and-bacon chili, and chicken and vegetable kebabs. She also typed out her entire grocery list and budget, from Mission budget grocer Foods Co. Still, she complain-tweets that the Hunger Challenge is negatively impacting her work life. “It’s hard to write passionately and enthusiastically when most of the pleasure of food is gone.”
As for Keck, she shows up everyone posting about this roasted tomato and anchovy pasta she made the other night, straight of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. “Tonight’s dinner was a real umami bomb, as Jean-Georges Vongerichten would say,” she writes, and then, parenthetically, “(I’m smiling, imagining what Jean-Georges would think of a $4.72 food budget!)”
Well, we applaud everyone for their efforts, and for bringing attention to the issue of hunger. Better them than us.
SFist Editor To Take S.F. Food Bank Hunger Challenge [SFist]
Hunger Challenge [Cooking With Amy]
Hunger Challenge [Been There Ate That]