Day 2 of the Challenge


This week is Hunger Action Week. To educate the public about the issue of hunger in communities, two organizations, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and United Way Silicon Valley, issued a challenge for people to try to eat on $4.50 a day, the average amount that those on Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as “food stamps”) receive. I decided to take the challenge and blog about it. See the previous two entries to find out how I prepared, and how I fared on Day 1.

I’ve always liked rice and beans. But yesterday, I loved rice and beans.

I spent most of the day hungry, as I had on Monday, the first day of the “Eat on $4.50 a Day” Challenge. Despite two healthy meals and an apple at around 3:30 p.m., By 5 p.m. yesterday I was feeling a little out of it. Then came dinner. I sauted a chopped onion, some garlic, and a chopped red pepper, then added a fresh chopped tomato, salt, pepper, oregano, a can of red kidney beans, and about four cups of cooked brown rice. When it was ready I divided it into four portions – that’s how I did the math when figuring out my menu and budget – and realized I was getting nearly two cups of food! Plus a salad! I enjoyed every bite, and when I was done, my stomach felt satisfied for the first time in nearly two days.

The amazing part was, I estimated that a serving of the rice and bean dish cost around .64. That’s using canned beans; I’m sure I could have lowered the cost using dried beans. And it’s vegetarian, and it’s full of good-for-you-fiber and vitamins.

Day 3 Menu

Here’s what I’m eating today.

Breakfast: same as yesterday; $1.15

Lunch: leftover rice and beans and some steamed broccoli, $1.14

Dinner: Taco Salad

Soy Taco “Meat”                                                                             .58

Cheese                                                                                               .24

Avocado   (Trader Joe’s packaged – one serving)                   .11

Tomato                                                                                              .25

Onion                                                                                                .10

Homemade Salsa                                                                           .20

Olives                                                                                                 .17

Chips                                                                                                  .21

Lettuce                                                                                               .25

Total                                                                                                 $2.11

Only leaves about .10 for a snack. Maybe a few carrot sticks. Fortunately I’m eating rice and beans for lunch!

By the way, it’s not too late to take the challenge yourself! Take it just for one day. Go to to find out how.