|My fully stocked and overflowing fruit bowl.|
We were really in trouble for a minute there. We're not nearly out of the woods yet, financially speaking, but the food stamps will make a huge difference. (Actually it's not stamps anymore, the program is called now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the funds are deposited to an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card, like a debit card. Still, I continue to call them food stamps.) The past few weeks were rice and beans and eggs. Peanut butter, bananas, lettuce and canned tuna when we could afford them. And a few wonderfully timed food donations. Let me tell you, we may be on hard times, but we never forget that we are very lucky people. In the past month, we have avoided extreme hunger because of the following people, who will remain anonymous, because I mostly am.
-Our neighbor gave us leftovers he snagged from his food service job.
-My parents also gave us leftovers, food they "have too much of", random bulk staples from Costco, some home-cooked dinners, and free reign in their fridge when they needed us to house-sit.
-The food bank gave us some staples, and some weird stuff. Last time it was nearly all canned green beans and a chocolate coconut cake. But they also often have pasta and sauce, rice and beans, and even a little produce if we can remember to visit on the one day of the month they offer it. But we never remember.
-My friends surprised me with a grocery bag filled with different teas, after I'd shared that my normally large and varied stash was totally dry. I could have cried when I saw the chamomile. And the peppermint! I'd been drinking groundcover mint tea** and hot lemon water for weeks, so having real tea again was a revelation.
Getting the food stamps is a total game-changer for me. Living on starches and cans, with very little fresh produce, is terrible for my head and not great for the rest of my body either, really. But, as soon as we got veggies back in the house, I started feeling more human. I don't feel as foggy, or weighed down, I have more energy, I feel less head-triggery and more able to bounce back from being triggered, and my digestive system is functioning much better.
The only downside to the food stamps is that not single CSA in my area accepts them, and I'm struggling to find a farmer's market that does. Well, I found one, so far, but it's in the middle of a massive flea market, which I don't ever feel up to navigating, so it's basically inaccessible to me. It's disappointing, I'm coping by writing emails requesting change. As I do.
**Fun Fact of the Day: Mint doesn't grow true from seed. I've been trying to grow an edible variety for years now, but my cuttings just die and the only seeds I can get to sprout keep turning into the only mint variety that isn't really considered edible. It won't kill me or anything, but it's much more of a creeping groundcover than an herb for tea, at least according to my herb book (and my palate says meh, too). So, yeah. Groundcover tea. The things we do when we're desperate for a cuppa.
|Groundcover mint. It works in a pinch.|