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Take the Hunger Challenge, Share Your Experience

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is asking people to eat on $4.46 a day — the budget currently allowed under the CalFresh food stamp program. Give it a try for a week, and blog along the way.

Grocery shopping can be like a high school exam, solving equations to get the best deals. But for many Californians — it's a magic trick.

How do you turn a loaf of bread into a week's worth of lunches? Or transform a cartoon of eggs into multiple meals? Or make a gallon of milk last longer than a box or two of cereal?

How do you eat on $4.46 a day?

This is the challenge for low-income individuals and families living on state government aid through the CalFresh Program, formerly known as Food Stamps. Almost 4 million people face the task of eating on a food stamp budget, and now the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano wants you to try.

The Hunger Challenge runs from Monday, June 11 to Friday, June 15 and asks participants to log all the food and drink they consume during the five-day period, and to keep it under a total of $22.30. All food counts, except condiments like mayonnaise and oil, which means staying away from freebies like that box of donuts at the office or a dining out on someone else's tab. 

If you're willing to put your money where your mouth is and dine on a dime, share your journey through the Hunger Challenge with Pleasant Hill Patch and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Start a blog by clicking here, and document the trials and triumphs of eating on a CalFresh budget.

Get started by signing up for the Hunger Challenge. Beginning Monday, log your grocery shopping and list your meals every day for the week. 

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is also soliciting donations to help feed the 132,000 people serviced every month across the two counties. Every dollar donated provides two meals.

Are you participaing in the Hunger Challenge? Why? Why not? Share your reasons in the comments below.

Emily Henry June 08, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Any suggestions/recommendations of where to get the cheapest fresh fruit and vegetables?
Stavros June 08, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Pleasant Hill Market. It's family owned and operated. Great selection of fresh fruits/veggies, best prices around! Corner or PHill Road and Geary/Grayson.
Emily Henry June 09, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Thank you Stavros! I will definitely check it out.
Rachel June 10, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Exactly the market I was going to recommend. So glad you are taking the Challenge with us, Emily! -Rachel from the Food Bank
Emily Henry June 11, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Thanks, Rachel! Here's my first update, written on the eve of the challenge: http://patch.com/B-Wtr

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