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Food Stamp Challenge Day 5: Raindrops

I had a dream when I was a kid. In it, I was a raindrop. I wasn’t the only one though, we were all raindrops that would fall from the same sky. Some of us landed on the foreheads of sun-weary farmers, giving them relief and making it easier for them to work. Others landed on the highway and got mixed up with oil and chemicals, creating a messy surface that was slick and difficult to navigate. Still others found their way to the parched soil of the garden where they helped to nourish the plants that would later nourish others.

On its own, a raindrop doesn’t amount to much. Depending on how hot it is, it might even evaporate and be forgotten before it has the chance to do anything at all. When enough raindrops come together at the same time and the same place though, miracles can happen. The grass grows green, the reservoirs refill, vital ecosystems repair and replenish themselves.

Today I remembered that dream when I was struck with the understanding that this challenge and the important dialogue it is opening is so much bigger than I am. When this idea first came to me I felt like a lone raindrop in a drought. Then there were more drops. And more still.

The number of people visiting the site has more than tripled in the short 5 days of this challenge so far. The raindrops are coming and they’re bringing more with them. The dry ground is glad for the relief but this drought is still so much bigger than we are. Hundreds of raindrops are beautiful to see, but thousands are needed.

This challenge is not about food stamps. It is about a drought of food, knowledge, understanding, care, concern and of people helping each other when they lack any of those.

Today I remembered that childhood dream because that dream is coming true right in front of me. We are all raindrops and the rain that’s coming will not soon be forgotten.


We were out of bread after making John’s lunch and my breakfast so he stopped by the store that was near work and picked up a loaf.

Forgive me for not taking a photo of a loaf of bread but I’m pretty sure you know what one looks like. Instead have a look at this receipt, it is pretty exciting as far as receipts go.


bread loaf 1.07 slice .04




1 slice of toast
1 scrambled egg
coffee (starting pantry)

John was running late for work and did not have time for breakfast.

BREAKFAST NOTES: Used the last slice of bread from the loaf purchased on Day 1.


2 chicken salad sandwiches
2 oz carrot sticks

red beans & rice


LUNCH NOTES: Chicken salad was made of leftover chicken from Day 1 dinner. Red beans & rice were left over from Day 2 dinner.


(photo shows seven of ten 2 cup portions)

chiliDINNER: $5.43

sweet tea

chili was made with:

  • 4 cups kidney beans (3 cups beans, 1 cup reserved liquid) cooked on Day 2
  • 4 cups pinto beans
  • 24 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno (given to John by a friend at work)
  • diced tomatoes (2 cans)
  • 1 onion
  • garlic powder
  • chili powder
  • salt & pepper

DINNER NOTES: The starting pantry contained 1.5 lbs of onion (.75 lbs remaining) and basic spices including garlic powder and chili powder. Once depleted, these items will be purchased as necessary.

This is the most expensive dinner meal so far, but it is important to note that for $5.12 we made enough chili for 5 full meals (10 servings). That brings the per serving cost to .51. If we are able to find ground meat at a decent price we may add it to later servings.

tomato sauceI opened the large can of tomato sauce purchased yesterday for this meal. The remaining 9 cups of sauce were cooked with some basic spices (salt, garlic powder, sugar, oregano) and canned for a total of 5 pints.


DAILY TOTAL: $6.35 (+$1.83 for the day, +22.17 for the week)
Total Spent to Date: $72.39
Total Remaining: $206.79

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Have you ever donated time, money or goods to a food bank, shelter or a person in need? Share your story.

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