Sunday, October 18, 2015

fortunate

Yesterday I spent $21.50 on three pomegranates, a half gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a small heirloom dry farmed watermelon.  I feel fortunate that I am able to do so. $21.50 on five items that will expire within days of purchase is a bit steep.

$21.50 for me is a smidge shy of two hours of work on an assisting day. If you make minimum wage that is about three hours of work. That $21.50 can fill half a gas tank to get you to your job, pay for one-two weeks of public transit, cover the retail cost of a handful of Target tank tops, or maybe cover the cost of an asthma inhaler if you have good insurance.

$21.50 is a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, small jar of jam, two pounds of apples, 5 bananas, a head of lettuce, and a bag of baby carrots which can be lunch for you or your kiddo for a week. $21.50 can be a lot of things more filling or even more useful than three pomegranates, half gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a small heirloom dry farmed watermelon. If I purchased these at my local grocer the poms would be smaller and more expensive and grown who knows where, the juice would not be fresh, and the watermelon would be a mockery of a melon that only looks like one on the outside. At my farmer's market I chatted with the guy who sells two variety of poms and the juice he coaxes out of them, I grabbed the last half gallon of fresh squeezed juice and talked about the excitement of the blood orange juice that appears in January, and I high-fived the guy with the green pick-up truck loaded with those gorgeous seed-full dry farmed watermelon that he grew about thirty-miles away. So much better than three pumpkin-spice lattes or a handful of tank tops from Target. So much better and skewed as not many people have the opportunity to visit a farmer's market or grow their own food. I am very fortunate.

My town often has large 50 gallon drums posted near the doors of our supermarkets. These are for our food bank for you to add to when you shop. If you do not feel up for selecting said food, there are often packed bags you can purchase for $5-$10 that already have food in them. When there are no bags ready, there are cards you can grab at the register for as little as $1. They make it very easy for you to give and I do. Often I will round up my purchase to the next $5 or so dollars, they make it easy and it helps. Sometimes the round-up is under $2 other times I grab a packed bag or two or add a couple pounds of rice and or grains to the drum. The markets in my neighborhood do this year round, not just at Thanksgiving, for which I am grateful. I remember being that family that could use a bag or two of groceries. If you are wondering where your food banks are in your neighborhood click here, it's easy to do and you can manage a week without lattes or acai bowls

Yesterday I spent $21.50 (without batting an eye) on three pomegranates, a half gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a small heirloom dry farmed watermelon.  I feel fortunate that I am able to do so. $21.50 on five items that will expire within days of purchase is a bit steep.  I am very fortunate.


4 comments:

  1. I love this. I, too, am very fortunate when it comes to the choices I have the freedom to make. I've never really pondered it this thoroughly though, so you've made me think!

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  2. Lovely piece Jess, you are right and we are so fortunate to have choices and to be able to recognise this. X

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  3. Gratitude is the right attitude. Keep it up.

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  4. My friend Sherry was a child whose family relied on food stamps and free school lunches and breakfasts. She is now a successful television executive. She recently traveled to Washington DC to share her story with Congress via TalkPoverty.org. Her whole story is in their downloadable booklet, available here: http://talkpoverty.org/communityvoices

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