While the Thrive $6.65 challenge didn’t stop me from participating in Yoga Unite, as mentioned yesterday, I did have to forgo attending both the Good Food Festival and the Toronto Underground Market. In addition to the culinary creations presented at each of the events, they have also been opportunities in the past for me to meet like-minded people, to support small, local food businesses and to enjoy experiences to share with readers of Fellowship Of Food. I would have also welcomed the chance to speak to other attendees and vendors about their ideas on poverty and food. While Hogtown Smoke had been generous enough to offer me a discount at TUM, I knew it would still be difficult to resist the other tempting dishes.
So, I entered the final day of #Thrive665 having depleted nearly the entire budget – after buying a can of chick peas yesterday, I had a mere 0.29 left to spend. I had also gone through the entire jar of peanut butter, the whole bag of perogies, all of the bacon and had added the last of the frozen meatballs to my homemade stock for flavour. While done 2 pounds to 153.5, I certainly didn’t feel the weight loss, but certainly had experienced headaches, fatigue and a lack of concentration. I wasn’t overly concerned about being so close to my limit as friends had planned to take my husband out for brunch and I had already packaged up some of the stock and meatballs for dinner.
When I arrived at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto for service this morning, I was reminded that it was also the week for a food drive. The importance of such initiatives particularly hit home after my experiences with this campaign for Fife House. As I offered communion to members of the church, I therefore invited them to reflect on how the elements given to them might not only nourish them, but how they in turn might look to feed the needs of a hungry world. These thoughts remained with me when I returned for evening service.
Our brunch plans suddenly fell through when we found out one of our friends had injured his back. Fortunately, my parents were visiting and offered to take us out instead. Part of me resisted the idea of being “bailed out”, but I quickly realized it was one of those times to simply appreciate the generosity. I certainly had to wonder what the longer-term effect would be for me if I had to rely on others for assistance. While I obviously place no judgement on those who find themselves in that situation, I can’t help but think I would struggle with the issue of pride. The brunch itself turned out to be rather unremarkable from the food point of view, but I did remark upon how grateful I was to have time in a restaurant with family. Sadly, stigma still exists around HIV/AIDS that sometimes leads to those affected being isolated from loved ones.
So, I finish this week with hope that the conversations that have begun will continue, that people will find a way to support the work of Fife House as they are able to. I also end with an even deeper appreciation for the gift of food and the invaluable ways it enriches my life and helps me connect to others, including with the other participants in this challenge (Bruce, Keith, Colleen, Doreen, Gail and Kristyn) and those who have engaged in various ways over the week. As I was going to write this post, I happened to notice the following quote on my Twitter feed:
To be fulfilled you must nourish your body with healthy food, your heart with love, your mind with knowledge, your spirit with self-awareness –Deepak Chopra
How would you find fulfillment on $6.65 a day and how can you help those who are trying to do just that?