Tag Archives: rachel bogin

Day 3 of the SNAP Challenge

20 Jun

Egg. Banana. Tomato base. Beans. Sound familiar? If you’ve been keeping up with this blog it should. I mixed things up today with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and an apple for an afternoon snack, but otherwise my office days are becoming deja vu in the food department.

Don’t get me wrong: there ain’t nothing wrong with leftovers. Cold pasta was my breakfast of choice for years. It’s that I don’t have a choice with my budget restrictions. I can’t make a last minute decision to run out for lunch without suffering the consequences later. Food is perishable. If I don’t eat what I have and it goes bad, I don’t get my money back. It makes me wonder how many programs or workshops there are to help people using SNAP to map out their meals intelligently to maximize their dollars without sacrificing nutrition or sanity.

Speaking of sanity, I had my first CSA pick-up today and came home with an insane amount of produce. For those who don’t know, here’s a brief description about how CSA’s work, from Wikipedia:

Community-supported agriculture (CSA; sometimes known as community-shared agriculture) refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit.

This is what our weekly share looks like.

This is what our weekly share looks like.

This is yet another road-block I expected to hit during my #SNAPChallenge. Since we had pre-paid for the CSA in April, the shares are ours every week whether we want them or not. In addition, there are CSA’s that work with SNAP participants so that they can participate in the program, so I decided to calculate my weekly cost and factor it into my SNAP budget. This means $7.95 gone to vegetables. Had I picked up my share earlier I may have gotten the allotted amount, which was much less than I anticipated, but I lucked out and got a larger share since I arrived 15 minutes before closing.

I used some kale, swiss chard, garlic scapes, and spring onion to make a chick pea soup. The chicken stock from earlier this week came in handy, as did the tomato sauce. I instinctively topped it off with a fried egg without thinking. I’m hoping I don’t regret that later in the week, as it was really just a frivolous thing to do, even though adding an egg to anything automatically makes it more awesome.

Rachel’s Budget: $28.93 spent, $2.57 left

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click headings below to learn more:

About the Farm Bill and proposed cuts

About the Food Bank for NYC & SNAP Challenge

Learn about SNAP eligibility standards and allowances in NYC

See the USDA requirements for eligibility and do the math

Learn the difference between SNAP, WIC, and EBT

TELL CONGRESS TO PROTECT THE SNAP PROGRAM

Day 2 of the SNAP Challenge

19 Jun

Having lost the gusto I had on Day 1, today was a little less exciting and a lot more like a regular work day sans coffee. Another egg and banana breakfast, a glass of water. Around 11:30am, I really needed something to snack on but wasn’t quite ready to dive into my spaghetti, so I headed downstairs to the green market for a piece of fruit. As my coworkers each bought a $4 lemonades, I picked through a pile of peaches ($2.99/lb) for my sugary treat and headed to the scale with what I thought was an average sized peach. It turned out to be a half-pound monster that cost me $1.67. This immediately made me reconsider my snack urge: how hungry was I? The $31.50 budget comes to about $1.50 per meal. Was I hungry enough to eat a SNAP-budget-meal-worthy-peach all at once? I decided I wasn’t.

For the next hour I let the peach sit my desk and mask the smell of farts that was emanating from myjames-and-giant-peach garbage can full of egg shells (yea I said it, boiled eggs smell like farts. don’t act surprised). I decided around 1pm that it was finally time to eat my leftover spaghetti and have some more water. Finally, at 3pm, that peach met it’s maker: I carried it to the kitchen and sliced it in half to find the most deliciously ripe and juicy peach I’ve ever had. I packed up the other half to bring home for later and brought my bounty back to my desk before anyone saw the peachy gold I had foraged outside.

With the saga of the peach over and dessert to look forward to later, the day carried on. After some overtime and visit to the vet with our cat, I got home at 7:45. For a few minutes I considered eating bean salad for dinner, but realized I needed to prepare something for lunch tomorrow: back to Western Beef I went. As I shopped, Paul happily ate his turkey chilli, which he topped with cheese and put in a tortilla. This is the fourth chilli meal he’s had in 2 days.

I came home having spent $8.34 on peanut butter, jelly, a loaf of bread, an apple, and a can of chopped tomato. I turned the bean salad into bean chili with some pantry spices, leftover pasta sauce, and can of chopped tomato, and topped it off with some chicken. It was about 9:15pm.

As I sit here now typing at 10:30pm, my stomach feels pretty full. I’m guessing its the massive amount of beans and eggs. Not enough to stop me from devouring the rest of that peach, but enough to make me appreciate a fibrous diet with ample greens and fruits.

Rachel’s Budget: $20.98 spent, $10.52 left

Paul’s Budget: $31.50 spent, $0.00 left

 

Click headings below to learn more:

About the Farm Bill and proposed cuts

About the Food Bank for NYC & SNAP Challenge

Learn about SNAP eligibility standards and allowances in NYC

See the USDA requirements for eligibility and do the math

Learn the difference between SNAP, WIC, and EBT

TELL CONGRESS TO PROTECT THE SNAP PROGRAM

Brooklyn’s Largest Potluck for God’s Love

11 May

This Saturday May 14th, I’ll be joining forces with my good friend Mckenzie from the MMMGuide.com to throw one of Brooklyn’s Largest Potluck parties!

The event will raise money for God’s Love We Deliver, an organization founded over 25 years ago when one woman began delivering food on her bicycle to a man dying from AIDS, and which now cooks 3,600 meals each weekday, delivering them to clients living with life-altering illnesses throughout the Tri-State area.

This Saturday, we’ll be serving up some delicious main dishes of our own on a rooftop in Prospect Heights and asking our guests to bring a side dish, dessert, or beverage of their liking for everyone to share, as well as a $15 donation. Everyone will receive a raffle ticket which will enter them for a chance to win one of many fantastic prizes donated by and for some of our favorite NYC locals like The Meatball Shop, Living Free NYC, iCi Restaurant, and more! Additional tickets can be purchased, with 100% of the proceeds from the entire event going directly to God’s Love We Deliver.

Interested in attending? We’d love to have you! Just email me (Rachel) at giveandgetnyc@gmail.com or McKenzie at themmmguide@gmail.com to RSVP and obtain that vital piece of info you’ll need in order to attend: Where’s the potluck party at?!

Many thanks to our generous supporters who have donated products or raffle items to the event:

Hands On NY Day 2011: Highland Park Clean-Up

19 Apr
2011

This past Saturday was Hands On New York Day, a citywide volunteer day which mobilizes thousands of New Yorkers to give their city a good ol’ fashioned spring greening. Though the weather wasn’t 100% optimal, the rain held out long enough to  get 70 public spaces cleaner, greener, and ready for people to enjoy all summer long.

Team Give and Get NYC was out straddling the line between Brooklyn and Queens this year, turning over plots in the Highland Park Children’s Garden. It was clear that the garden had endured a long winter and was in need of some TLC. Our site had an army of volunteers that were spreading compost, pulling weeds, and raking leaves, among other things. Our team was tasked with turning over four garden plots that belonged to local public school students. We prepared the soil for planting, which will take place in the next few weeks when the garden is turned into an outdoor classroom of sorts, teaching elementary-age kids how to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Before

After!

Despite the weather it was a great day, as these events always are. It gives me a great sense of pride any time I can volunteer alongside such a large, diverse group of people; we didn’t know each other’s names, but we shared shovels, fetched compost for each other, and lent a hand when it was needed, no questions asked. I like to think this is what it’s all about to be a New Yorker.

It was also seriously hard, back-breaking labor that I know could not have been completed by the small children and surrounding community who will ultimately benefit from our hard work and the support of New York Cares.

To see more photos from our day in the Highland Park Children’s Garden, check out the G&G Flickr account!

Did you volunteer for Hands On New York Day 2011? Feel free to reply below with links to your own photos and recaps of the day!