Take the Hunger Challenge

April 13, 2009

My guess is that most of us had a wonderful Easter meal yesterday with loved ones and went to bed feeling full and satisfied. Unfortunately, there are many who can't say the same. Because of the economic downturn, meal programs and food banks are being pushed to their limits, and donations have dramatically decreased.

When most people hear that there's a hunger epidemic most people think of the homeless or of developing nations. But it extends beyond that.  People who are also experiencing hunger are the working poor;  people who have jobs but aren't earning enough to pay rent and their utilities, transportation to and from work, medical bills, and food. As a result, they are cutting back on food to keep a roof over their head.

According to The Missing Meals Report done by Food Lifeline here in Seattle, "50.9 million more meals were needed in 2008 in King County to ensure that all low income families and individuals have three nutritious meals a day." That translates to an additional 137,000 meals needed each day.

So from April 20-24 I am going to take the Hunger Challenge and walk in the shoes of someone else - someone who struggles daily to put food in the mouths of their family. The maximum benefit of Basic Food (e.g. food stamps) per person here in Washington is $7, generous compared to the usual $3 in most states.

I invite you to take the challenge too. Why?

  • As food lovers and/or bloggers we have a unique perspective on food.
  • We can cook!
  • We can write!
  • We have an audience and can help spread the word and build awareness!

Here are the rules:

  • Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner spending only $X a day (see below)
  • Salt and pepper don’t count but all other seasonings, cooking oils, condiments, snacks, drinks, and everything else do.
  • Don’t use food you already own.
  • Don’t accept food from family, friends, coworkers and others.
  • Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day.

Here's how much allowance you’re allowed depending on family size here in Washington:
Household Size/ Hunger Challenge Budget
1 $7 / day
2 $12 / day
3 $18 / day
4 $22 / day
5 $26 / day
6 $32 / day
7 $35 / day
8 $45 / day

I look forward to reading about your involvement!

For more information:

United Way of King County’s Main Website:
Links to donate, volunteer, and register for the challenge:

Their Blog:
Where they’ll be posting all of the hunger information, including links back to your sites and reblogs on any
posts you make.

Their Twitter (Follow them!)

UWKC’s Hunger Challenge Facebook Page:



A Foodie Limousine Liberalism | Brain Handles's picture

[...] recently read a post on Foodista telling people to take the United Way's Hunger Challenge, which is basically trying to live for [...]

United Way of King County's picture

Hi Sheri!

Thanks for the post, I'm sure you're going to great on the challenge!

The most important thing about this whole thing is that it's an exercise in empathy. Lots of people in the community -- and in the country at large -- are suffering from hunger. People like you really help shine a light to the problem and hopefully we'll all come together to fix it!

Thanks Again!

John's picture

In my humbelest form I empithize with you and your goal.
Let me begin by saying I am retired military and have been to about 22 countries in my 20 + years in uniform.
Have known of young military married couples living in converted coal bins in the D.C area, no running water, heat, or those things we take for granted. I commanded a Black Panther site in SEA without edible material support, we subsisted on our own, but found those wee
people Amerasians not excepted by either race living like dogs under recently parked trucks for there warmeth. We shared our jungle meals with them. Am in my final years but have tried to support those military
to my best knowing they always help the children where
ever they are. Good Night

Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food.'s picture

Hi, I'm taking this challenge too.
What a story John (above me) has... makes me feel like we are playing here.
Will follow to see how u're doing...

Foodista Blog - Hunger Awareness Week Day 1's picture

[...] an effort to help fight hunger in my community, Barnaby and I have taken The Hunger Challenge. As part of Hunger Awareness Week, we’ll be living on a total of $12 a day (the amount given [...]