It's been one full week of the Food Stamp Challenge. I've noticed that I think about food a lot more since the challenge started. I suppose I thought about food a lot before the challenge, actually, but now I'm trying my best to ignore Chick-fil-A when I drive by it instead of ordering a #5 with Cherry Coke, no ice. And I ignored the chocolate chip cookie dough that called to me in Harris Teeter on my way to get eggs. I even ignored the Fuji apples, which are my favorite kind, but it made no sense to spend $2.49/lb. when a bundle of oranges were so cheap. In trying to ignore these foods, I thought about food more and more.
I do not complain, though. I have eaten well this week. Most meals have not been as exciting as the days when I might create a shopping list solely based on one amazing Rachel Ray recipe. I've eaten, though, and I've eaten pretty well.
I had a friend buy a meal for me, and I was very grateful for our dinner together. I traveled for work, too, and my colleague treated me to a feast at a Moroccan restaurant. She did not know about the challenge when she offered. I had not eaten since breakfast that morning, so when I ate that meal, I had felt the pain of hunger for hours. It was nice to receive a filling free meal.
So far, I'm reminded of the joy of community. We are not islands. My $21 does not go very far. But when Lanecia and I purchase food together, $42 seems a bit more filling. Gifts from friends are sheer blessings. So how can I be in community better with my neighbors who wonder where they will get their next meal? What gift can I give that might be someone's sheer blessing without my even knowing it?