Nutritionists often advise us to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to limit our intake of sweets and salts as much as possible. But is this possible on $21/week?
Here are typical costs to provide healthy lunches*:
1/2 peanut butter sandwich
3/4 cup carrots
1 cup milk
Total Cost: $1.19
1/2 turkey sandwich
2 cups spinach salad (w/ dressing)
Total Cost: $2.40
With the current food stamp average in the United States of $21 per person, this is essentially $3/day and $1/meal. As you see, one dollar hardly provides a full healthy meal for children or adults.
Jesus was often prompted by compassion to act on behalf of those who were suffering loss, disease and hunger. It seems inevitable that those who follow Jesus must also show compassion in all of their decisions and actions . . . The followers of Jesus cannot ignore the needy of the world, and neither can we look away from the needs of the world. If our lives are modeled after the one we claim to follow, we will, as Jesus did, look with compassion upon all who cross our paths. Looking with compassion requires the further step of seeking to alleviate the pain that prompted our compassion.
~ Bishop Rueben P. Job, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God
So who are we called to be as followers of Jesus when so many families in our nation and around the world cannot afford even one healthy meal?
*Information from ELCA Food Stamp Challenge