“So hungry”………raise your hand if your child (or you) has ever, in a moment of frustration because work obligations pressed too hard or service was slow or the milk in the fridge had gone sour……….said “I’m so hungry!”
For most of us, we aren’t technically that hungry. Our stomachs are grumbling, our blood sugar is plummeting, our patience is hitting bottom. But we are a few minutes, dollars, or miles away from a decent meal.
For millions of Americans participating in our nation’s food stamp program (SNAP), $3 to $4 per person per day is what they have to supplement their food budget. In addition, the most affordable food is often the unhealthiest (some articles describing why this is the case can be found here and here.)
A few facts:
16.2 million kids in America struggle with hunger. (Source: USDA Household Food Security in the United States)
10.5 million kids eligible for free or reduced-price school breakfast do not get it. (Source: Food Research and Action Center, School Breakfast Scorecard)
Six out of 7 eligible kids do not get free summer meals. (Source: Food Research and Action Center “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report)
We bloggers* are banding together to post recipes today as part of a recipe roundup of budget-friendly recipes. I have scoured the interwebz today, thinking of the cans of tuna and chicken (and the jars of peanut butter) that I have deposited in our baskets at Holy Comforter each week, to be distributed each Saturday by our food pantry. My basic thought process when I am at the store is usually, “protein is good so I’ll do tuna (or chicken….or peanut butter).” But if I were the recipient, what could I do with the protein to make it last as long as possible and to have the best chance that my kids would like it?
A friend who delivers food as part of a service project every week said some of the considerations she faces are: a) the fact that she drops the bag at 8 a.m. and it often has to sit until the adult gets home from work, and b) in her experience kids are pretty averse to beans. As she and I (and a few other people on Twitter) were discussing options for “budget-friendly” recipes, tuna noodle casserole and other variations on “put the meat with pasta and throw in cream-of-something-soup” seemed to be the most common suggestion. For that reason, I will suggest something completely different, that is still budget-friendly and may be novel enough to appeal to kids: Baked-Potato Eggs!
Here’s the recipe for Baked-Potato Eggs
- 2 baking potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 precooked turkey sausages, diced
- 4 large eggs
Heat oven to 400° F. Scrub the potatoes and pierce each with the tines of a fork. Bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Carefully cut each potato in half. Scoop out the insides and stir in the butter and cheese. Fold in the sausages. Spoon the mixture back into the potato halves, creating a hollow in each center. Break 1 egg into each hollow. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until set.
(This recipe is from Real Simple via Recipes.com)
Now, where were we before we started salivating over the cheesy eggs over succulent baked potatoes? Oh yeah — we were at the fact that for some families, hunger is an ever-present fact of life. What can we do, together?
1. We can send a letter to congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. I sent mine earlier today; it literally took less than a minute. Here’s the link.
2. We can watch A Place at the Table, which follow three American families affected by food insecurity. Here’s the trailer:
I am hungry to give every American a place at a plentiful table. If you are too, please join me in taking action.
*Ginormous caveat here – I can’t really claim to be a “food blogger,” even though I have done the occasional post about food. More like I’m a blogger who cares, who invited herself to be a “food blogger for a day”!