This week's meal plan is a bit different. You see, in response to the film, A Place at the Table, which documents the lives of three families living with food insecurity, a very real problem in the United States, food bloggers have united to raise awareness the film and issues surrounding hunger in America.
Did you know that 1 in 5 children in the United States struggle with hunger? That's 16 million children - in the US. Not Africa, not a third world country. A first world country. Children you pass every day when you take your child to school, when you enjoy the park on a sunny day, when you stock up on food at the grocery store go without food every day.
There are food pantries and federal assistants programs like free lunch for school aged children, WIC, and SNAP (food stamps), but those programs are designed to be a supplement. SNAP only allocates $4 a day toward ensuring food insecure families have enough to eat. Can you eat on $4 a day?
Our family has struggled significantly in the last several years, but we've never been able to qualify for any federal assistance. We've always just barely been above the maximum income. I can tell you from experience, surviving on $4 a day is difficult.
So what can you do? I urge you to support a local food bank or pantry. Check out my list of ways to help to find food assistance programs in your area by clicking here.
Contact congress by checking out this link for a letter you can send urging your representatives to consider increased funding for federal food programs.
Watch the movie A Place at the Table. Check the listings to see if the film is playing in your city. If not, the film is also available on demand through iTunes and Amazon.
Try one or more of these budget friendly meal ideas below. I can't promise they will all be $4 or under, but they are all very inexpensive meals. Don't forget to drink water only with your meals to cut the cost down!
Sunday - Pinto Beans in the Slow Cooker, Cornbread
Tuesday - Big Salad with 1/4 pound of meat per person or 1 hard boiled egg per person on top, Bread or Crackers
Wednesday - Bean Tostadas, Rice
Spread canned refried beans (or mash pinto or black beans) and cheese on tortillas , bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 5 - 10 minutes until edges are crisp and cheese is melted. (If you have some chili powder, you could even adapt this recipe for Spicy Bean Burritos). Top with tomatoes, lettuce and/or salsa.
Thursday - Hamburger Macaroni Casserole
This is probably the most expensive meal all week.
Friday - Meatless Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce, Bread
Saturday - Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches