Catholic Charities : Diocese of Des Moines
Food Stamp Challenge Day Three: Bologna again, frustration setting in
March 23, 2012

By Ken Bresnan, Parish Outreach Liaison, Catholic Charities


Welcome back to the Food Stamp Challenge.  I realized in the beginning that it would be a challenge.  What I didn’t realize is that it would also be emotional.


Working through another day on $4.50 is still a challenge and a new experience.  Besides my awareness everyday that there is no money left for any snacks, morning coffee somewhere, and a mid afternoon pop, I am really starting to feel a sense of lack of freedom. 


My Menu - Day Three
My most recent day started with the ubiquitous cereal with a banana and coffee.  Lunch returned to the infamous bologna sandwich with chips and a can of pop.  That took me to
$2.80 so far for the day.  Supper then would have to come in at $1.70.  Therefore I could have a quarter lb of 80% ground beef hamburger in my Hamburger Helper along with some canned beans. Not much meat once cooked. My other choice was half a frozen pizza with a small apple. I went with the Hamburger Helper meal.


Observations about choice and frustration
Normally when I go to the grocery store or plan my meals for the day or week, I really don’t have any boundaries. Naturally I can’t have steak and shrimp every day, but I am used to a variety with a meat or fish and vegetables and fruit every day.  But when I go to the store now, I don’t feel that I have much choice. There are thousands of items in the grocery store but I am learning that there are only a small percentage of those that I can work with.


The frustrating part is that this is what I came up with after walking up and down most of the isles of the grocery store.  Let me emphasize that the frustration part is really showing itself. As I was looking for items I didn’t have the feeling that I had much choice at all. 


As I have said before, the empathy is increasing each day that I do this project. Save to


There are no article comments at this time.
Recent Entries
Dealing with Differences
Parenting during Summer Break
Bearing the Burdens of Those in Need
Welcome the Stranger

Oct 2016 - 1 entry
Aug 2016 - 1 entry
Jun 2016 - 1 entry
Mar 2016 - 2 entries
Feb 2016 - 1 entry
Oct 2015 - 1 entry

Sign up for e-mail notification.


RSSView RSS Feed