Tomorrow I begin my journey trying to understand how very hard it is to live on a food stamp budget when you have health problems. I will be living on a food stamp budget as a diabetic. The 'average' recipient in New York gets 4.50, and that will be my daily budget.
All welfare is corporate welfare. The real benefit is to employers who pay a low wage. Programs like this provide just enough sustenance to keep the worker showing up and at a company like Walmart, spend their benefit in the store further enriching the Walton family.
The reason we have social welfare programs as they currently exist is to make sure that there is 'just enough' to keep employees from rebelling and unionizing. Unions are nothing more than workers 'capitalizing' on their labor. In a capitalist market they should be encouraged.
Food insecurity is to the benefit of corporations. Keeping people afraid they will 'lose everything' allows continual exploitation.
This two month pledge is not only to try to find ways to help diabetics but it is also, for me, a political statement.
I want society to look at the larger costs of food insecurity. I want there to be a wider understanding of how food and politics are related.
I also always have the goal of raising further support for the local food banks. If you have extra to share, help keep someone from going hungry tonight. Give to your local food bank.
Today I weigh 155 lbs. My arms are 14 inches at the bicep, my chest 44 inches my real waist 30. I am a fit muscular man, with little fat on my frame. I have no cholesterol issues or high blood pressure. My energy is generally good. I had a nasty fall last month and sometimes my right foot swells up. I expect it is a soft tissue injury as the symptoms have lessened, and it hurts much less than it did. I have asthma but am otherwise pretty healthy.
I do not believe that anyone in our society should be forced to choose between medication, clothing and food and for those experiencing food insecurity those choices are made every day.
I have been keeping receipts and paying close attention to what I spend on food. I love deals and have discovered several, but at the same time I tend towards organic, very high quality food. It is not uncommon to spend 10 per person on dinner at my house.
I use a lot of seasoning and though I am light on oil my replacement costs average about 7.50 a month. Therefore I will remove .25 for each day in order to replace seasonings used. Everything has a cost.
The last time I did this I relied heavily on rice, pasta, bread and other inexpensive carbohydrate choices.
I saw a nutritionist today and my goal per meal is 45 grams of carbohydrate with a max of 60. 15 grams in a snack (assuming I can afford one) should be the goal with a maximum of 20.
While a type II diabetic does not have to count carbs like an insulin dependent diabetic does it can be very helpful for them to do so. There are more complicated formulas making allowance for fiber content, but by setting an overall limit your life can be easier.
In addition I want to help both types of diabetics and both are often on food assistance.
I will not make anyone else in my household participate in this, it is a solo deal and I will be preparing meals for one.
I will not eat out, save an invite where someone takes me out. Anyone on food assistance would say yes to a free meal when offered.
My neighbors here in Harlem know of this project an I have received a lot of advice. Preparing for the end of the month is important because one mis-step and your money could run out. Tomorrow I will put some things in the freezer that can be helpful a few weeks from now.
Tonight I will have pasta and wine.