It’s the last day today! Good job too, as I really didn’t have much food left to get me through the day, lucky it was a day off really so no cycling. I was VERY excited when the organic veg delivery arrived, complete with a carton of soya milk and some fresh eggs, and am looking to a hearty brunch tomorrow.
I have so missed my crunchy veg and fresh salad this week so this couldn’t have arrived at a better time! I have really craved the natural sweetness of fruit too, having substituted it with sugar in my tea in the latter days as I have been feeling very depleted.
I was also very grateful for this hand delivery of fresh goodness from the garden of a dear friend, who was out early this morning cutting herbs and bright rhubarb stalks and bringing even more colour back into my life. She popped round whilst I was still in my pyjamas, after having a late breakfast of two teas (I know decadent right?) the remaining two miniature wholewheat biscuits with the rest of the UHT milk.
Hunger has been a constant today. It was maybe psychological as I knew I was nearly at the end of my food parcel, especially the biscuits, but I did feel quite weak when I walked into Beeston to post a parcel and pick up a few bits. I accepted the cuppa kindly offered to me by Lucy at Two Little Magpies, loaded with ‘real’ milk and sugar. It did make me feel less woozy but I realised that all the caffeine and sugar I have been ingesting had put me a little on edge.
I ate the tin of spaghetti for lunch, thankful I had saved it and this took the edge off for a good hour or so. Nevertheless I took my last two biscuits to the pub with me for a meeting I was intending, in case I felt peckish again. I did, I ate them before the end of the meeting but that may have been because the person I met with had ordered food and a big bowl of chips was placed right in front of me not long after I got there.
I stayed strong, I didn’t want to let my supporters down. I have been so blown away with people’s responses to this challenge I was determined to finish it. I am aware that if this was a real food parcel I would have no choice, and two more days to go. That said I have been thinking a lot about how people cope day-to-day when they rely in a food bank for their weekly food. Sure there is food available, but where do they go for essentials like toilet rolls, toothpaste and sanitary products?
The fresh sorrel made a delicious pesto of sorts, and yes I did feel a bit Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall as I was ‘whizzing it up’ with my hand blender eagerly anticipating the flavour of freshness. In my enthusiasm I cooked rather a large portion of pasta so the ratio was a bit out but it was rather enjoyable just the same. I suppose if I was really living on a food parcel I would be able to supplement the processed food with fresh forage and growing my own in the garden, seasons permitting.
There has been a great feeling of camaraderie with the other people in the group who have been undertaking the same challenge this week. Like me they are all supporters of Himmah, and when we met in the chilly breeze block construction last Sunday to collect our parcels, we were encouraged to share our experiences to support each other. It was interesting to see how other people were managing and even sharing ideas for how to make the most out of the meagre offerings.
Whether we like it or not, food banks are the main source of sustenance for many unfortunate people living in the UK at this current time. They need our help. Supermarkets are donating food that is nearing its shelf life but most of the food has to be purchased by the charities that run these organisations. You can make food donations by contacting Himmah directly through their website and the fundraising page will be open until April 8th so you still have time to make a donation. If you can please help them, or another local food bank, to continue their vital support.
The food that I have eaten this week is a pretty accurate representation of the food parcel an adult would receive and it would cost around five pounds. I feel a sense of achievement, mixed with relief, but it has changed the way I think about food. I think I am going to appreciate a lot more that opportunities I get to eat a quality, fresh and wholesome diet, that allows me to lead my busy active life and keeps me healthy.
I have two tea bags left…
Until next time