Recent statistics show that 1 in 9 Americans are food insecure. This means that there are millions of people in the United States who regularly don’t know where their next meal will come from. This is heartbreaking. My work at Hope Clinic puts me in contact with people who live this reality every day.
Mothers will often come in desperate for food because they had to choose between paying the heating bill and shopping for food. Thankfully, Hope is able to provide groceries in these situations and ensure that parents don’t have to choose between keeping their family warm or fed, but often that still means that other needs go unmet.
I’m so blessed that I am not forced to make these kinds of difficult decisions in my own life, but I don’t want to take this privilege for granted.
One practice that has helped me to understand the struggle of my neighbors is choosing to limit my food budget for a season. For a person living in poverty, their grocery trip is typically limited to what they are able to buy with their SNAP dollars (formally known as Food Stamps). This means they are only able to eat $4 worth of food each day.
Lent is a great season to practice fasting. Prayerfully consider limiting what you eat to what you can purchase for $4 a day, or $28 a week. It is an eye-opening practice that can help you to better understand what life in poverty can often be like.
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12
Questions for Today
- Would you be willing to limit you daily food budget to $4? (While trying this, what could you do with the money you would typically spend? Consider donating to the Hope Clinic or another food-based charity).
- What do you think this practice could teach you?
Lent Action Guide
This is an entry in my Lent Action Guide which will be featured all Advent long.
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