Can changing dinner change the world? Can helping a food insecure family access and prepare healthy dinners on a budget change their relationship with food?
Recent recommendations of food justice organizations like Project Bread highlight how necessary it is to change the relationship that many particularly urban poor have with their food. They suggest that all anti-hunger initiatives target providing healthy food to the food insecure. Simply, thus, I would use the $500 mini-grant to work with a small (n=10) sample of food insecure families. Here's how I would do it:
1) With the assistance of a director of a local Department of Transitional Assistance office in my local area (Chelsea, MA) I would select 10 families who are receiving "food stamps".
2) For 1 week I would provide that family with a nutrition expert and chef who would come to their homes with food (purchased using the mini-grant) and information about preparing that night's meal on a budget of no more than what the family can budget based on how much the family receives in food assistance and how many members of the family there are.
3) At the end of the week, I would survey each family member using a tool that has a numeric and qualitative rubric to assess the family's experience that week.
Can changing dinner change the world? I believe that it can. Food and our experience with it impacts us at our core. Without good, nutritious food we are unable to work well, study hard or be productive people in general. When you don't know when or where your next meal is coming from or when your meals are filled with fat and lacking in vitamins and minerals, you cannot be your best. I am hungry for to change the lives of families experiencing food insecurity right here in the U.S., and locally, in my community.
I am hungry for justice - food justice!