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Hunger Aware

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THE FEED

Becoming aware of the hunger and food security issues in Grand Rapids, and learning what it's like for the 55,803 Kent County residents who need food stamps to feed their families.
Dine's shopping trip with $30.59 for the week kept her shopping trip limited to basics and sale items.

Dine's shopping trip with $30.59 for the week kept her shopping trip limited to basics and sale items.


Document your food awareness: Ingredients needed to make Shepherd's Pie, as documented by Valle on his blog French Cuisse

Document your food awareness: Ingredients needed to make Shepherd's Pie, as documented by Valle on his blog French Cuisse /William Matthew Valle

Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported

Next week is Hunger Action Week, and to help us start being aware of what that means for us here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I spent some time finding out the statistics on hunger and food insecurity in our area. I was surprised to find out:

1 in 6 Americans struggles with hunger.

One in six: This means that "At times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food," according to the USDA.

91,310 people in Kent County are food insecure.

Ninety-one thousand, three hundred ten.

In 2010 there were 55,803 cases of Kent County residents using food stamps, up 19% from 2009.

Fifty-five thousand, eight hundred and three cases. Not people, cases. Many of these are families getting food stamps for themselves and their children.

This week and the next, we'll be joining the Grand Rapids Press and local organizations in becoming more aware of the food security issues all around us. We'll learn together what's it's like to not have enough money or access to food, right here in Grand Rapids. 

 

First, follow along with the experience of over 55,803 of your neighbors.

This week, preceeding Hunger Action Week, our Food Culture Beat Reporter's fearless leader Samantha Dine and Jackie Prins, a GR Press reporter, will be sharing their story of surviving on $4.37 a day for food.  Four dollars and thirty-seven cents per day: based on the monthly average food stamp allotment, $133 per person, this is how much they would have to spend on food if they were on food stamps.

 

Next, take a picture of your own food security awareness

Along the way, Prins and Dine will be documenting their challenge not only in daily reports but in photos as well. They'll be taking pictures of their purchases and meal creations, and we invite you to join them-if not in the $4.37 challenge, at least in the awareness of how much your own meal costs, by taking some photos of your own.

Upload a photo (or two or three or more!) that focuses on hunger and food security issues to The Rapidian’s Flickr pool :  

What does a $4.37 day of food look like for you? 

OR 

Share a photo of your ingredients/meal with a title that shows how much that meal costs.  

(For photography inspiration, think of the "what's in your bag" trend, or Things Organized Neatly, where we found Matthew Valle's beautiful documentation of his own meal creations.)

We'll be highlighting the images you share with us as a series in our Photo of the Day on the front page of The Rapidian, now through September 16. So get out your camera. Take a picture of your ingredients or your meal.  Title it with the cost involved. 

 

What are the chances it'll be more that $4.37?


Holly

the red penner, ink slinger, storyteller, page changer. when not working as the managing editor at The Rapidian, holly is typically found scribbling in her journal, playing in her studio, getting muddy in the garden, or experimenting in the kitchen. she has a not-so-tiny boy for a son and a very patient man for a husband.

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