Tag Archives: Protein Rich Meals

Did You Know That Hunger Is Problem All Around Central Texas?

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Here’s a little change of pace from my typical recipe post, don’t worry there is still a easy, healthy, and affordable recipe at the end ūüôā I’d like to share something I’m involved with right now.

I recently was accepted into the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance, a tight knit group that’s mission is to work together with our peers to set a standard of transparency and fairness in food blogging. We will also support each other and our community through classes, social events, and philanthropy. ¬†With that being said I’m not only super excited to be a part of this group but eager to tell you about our first philanthropy project with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. ¬†We were asked to blog,¬†share our thoughts, and write about the face of hunger so here it goes.

If you haven’t heard of SNAP it’s the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-AKA “food stamps”. ¬†The minimum one can receive is $16 per month and the average household in need receives around $275. ¬†Some obvious¬†disadvantages: I found it to be very unfair that if you are a convicted felon for a drug offense after 1996 you are completely ineligible for ANY benefits but you could be a convicted rapist or child molester and still qualify for benefits… Hmmm something is not quite right about that. ¬†Also if you live in Texas be prepared to encounter the daunting task of filling out a short novel just to see if you may qualify (oh and if you don’t, don’t expect to hear back from them). ¬†Not only is the paperwork ridiculously time consuming but I bet that there are some that are eligible for benefits (but are not applying) due to the pain of applying or not knowing how to properly apply. ¬†I went online and started filling out the paperwork to see what it consisted of, 6 min later and I ¬†had given up…

An Interesting Fact:¬†Did you know that 248,544 are income eligible, but don‚Äôt receive (they aren’t applying) SNAP thus reducing economic activity… Central Texas misses out on $630,000,000 through lost economic activity.

Naturally, as gas and food prices rise more and more individuals and families are effected.

FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN THROUGH IT:

I interviewed a former SNAP client to get some uncensored opinions and asked these 5 questions:

1. ¬†Q: Did the long process of applying dissuade you from ever applying or renewing your application? ¬†A: “Yes, all the paperwork was a pain. ”

2. Q: Did it help you and your family enough to make a difference? A: “It did help out a lot, what sucked is I had to lie & say I was seperated so I can get anything at all… then I find out theres couples or singles w/out kids, but no jobs who got a lot more than I did w/3 kids. =/”

3.Q:¬†Have you ever been embarrassed or felt you were judged at the store when checking out? A: “Wasn’t too much embarrassed but did feel judged about it.”

4. Q: Was it easy for you to get help when needed? A: “Not really, too much paperwork & waiting. A lot of the info they ask for doesn’t seem necessary to me. Like I said I know people who are single w/no kids who don’t have a job & that qualifies them for emergency foodstamps. crazy huh.”

5. Q: Did you ever sacrifice feeding yourself or your family to pay another bill like rent or electricity? ¬†A: “Yes we have had to sacrifice the feeding for bills… we would eat though…. go over to a family members house or something.”

This is a real problem, if you know someone that is in need of these benefits, let them know about the CAFB and SNAP! ¬†If you don’t, you can make a DONATION or VOLUNTEER at your local food bank, any little bit helps!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe high in protein and nutrients that will make your dollar stretch and leave you satisfied!

Zesty Tuna Salad on Crackers or Bread

Serves: 4 for sandwiches, or several for snacks with crackers, can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Prep Time: 5-10 min

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz can of Tuna in water or oil, the large can(I used the tuna in water).
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS plain greek yogurt or mayo
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Drain tuna and empty contents into a medium bowl.
  • Chop produce and empty into bowl.
  • Add yogurt or mayo, lemon juice/zest, and mustard and stir mixture until mixed throughly.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enjoy on bread or crackers!

THE FACTS:

  • About 48,000 different people receive emergency food assistance from CAFB in any given week.
  • CAFB serves nearly 300,000 people each year.
  • 41 percent of CAFB clients¬†are¬†children.
  • 95 percent of CAFB partner agencies say they could no longer serve their clients if the Food Bank shut down tomorrow.
  • More than a third of CAFB’s older clients go for extended periods without food.
  • 1 in 5 families served by CAFB experience the physical pain of hunger.
  • Almost half of CAFB clients have at least one working adult at home.
  • Almost half of the families CAFB serves have to choose between buying food and paying utilities.
  • 82 percent of CAFB clients are not homeless.

Source:  Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report

According to Feeding America’s preliminary data, 442,263 (17.8%) Central Texans are estimated to be food insecure.