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Letter: Going hungry

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me financially and with daily messages as I endured the program “Live below the Line.” For five days, I lived on $1.50 a day which had to include my breakfast, lunch and dinner. The point was to display what extreme poverty looked like worldwide. The money I raised will be donated to Salvation Army Community Meals, Stone Soup Cafe and the GCC Food Pantry. I asked people to donate only $2 as I wasn’t sure I could make it all five days and we are a community involved in many worthy fundraisers currently.

I’ve raised $130 and learned many things throughout the week. The first lesson was recognizing how unhealthy I had to eat to make the money last all week — $7.50 isn’t much money for an entire week if you want to buy fresh fruit and veggies. My plan of action was to mainly live on brown rice and green tea. Although neither is too bad for you, I had to eat it numerous times, especially for breakfast. Next time you are in a grocery line passing judgment while someone uses an EBT card in front of you, first of all, don’t pass judgment. Not all people abuse the system. Their monthly allotment lasts longer when purchasing generic bottles of soda for 88 cents instead of the cranberry juice for $3.99. Even bottled water is more expensive than various brands of soda. It is more cost effective to purchase prepared sodium-filled food than healthy made-from-scratch meals.

The headaches, light-headedness and dehydration were issues that were somewhat relieved once I increased my water intake. I can imagine students from PreK through college not doing well in class while they are hungry. It was so hard to focus. Right now, I can’t say I will do this project again next year, but if I do, it will be a team effort so our little money can be combined to prepare soups and healthier meals. As usual, this would not be possible without a community willing to chip in. For that I thank you.

PENNY RICKETTS

Greenfield

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