Thursday, June 1, 2017

Day 1: Here we go!

It's been a busy few days wrapping up some important month-end responsibilities at the non-profit I lead, so I haven't had much time to set up this blog or do any advance PR work to get the word out about this challenge. That's where you can help in sharing the link and helping me get the word out about my effort here.

So, let's back up, many of you of course have no idea what I'm doing here. In short, I'm attempting to live off of just $30 of food, stretching it to last for 90 meals over a 30 day period in order to better empathize with, and more effectively advocate for, those in the developing world who live on about $1 a day, much like this girl I met in the slums of Kampala...

For this challenge, I've chosen June as a nice clean 30 day period in which I'll be taking the challenge. This is my fifth time to take the challenge, and my fourth time blogging about it. If you've never seen my other challenge blogs, allow me to introduce you to the basics of the challenge. I do not allow any free food to be given to me, nor do I go looking for it. Otherwise it would be too easy, especially in the U.S.

So the rule is basically, here's 30 bucks to spend on groceries, make it stretch so that you can eat 90 decent meals. I think you'll be surprised and what can be done with so little.

For now, I'll share a few images from my shopping trip so you can see what I have to work with. You can also read my shopping list and prices here.

My Goal: Aside from the personal goals of taking a month to simplify and live on less, I'm hoping to heighten awareness for the children that my charity assists, to strengthen the base of support that allows them the new life of opportunity we collectively are equipping them with. Fundraising for such an important cause, for some of the world's most vulnerable children, is sadly an extremely challenging task for us each month.

Thus we've come up with a new idea that we hope will generate more monthly partners in our work; we are calling them our "Sustainers"— those who offer us the consistency of support we need to run such a broad set of programs every month in 5 nations and 16 program locations, providing for almost 300 resident orphans in 11 homes, 1000 students at 4 schools and 4 after school care programs, and 20 trafficking survivors at two rehabilitation homes.

As a new Sustainer, you can choose a heart with a dollar value that equals the monthly amount you are willing to donate, and when all the hearts are "sponsored" then our monthly budget will be met without having to conduct a fundraising campaign each month going forward— which would mean more time for us to get on to the important work of improving our programs for these children. You can learn about our "Sustainer's Circle" and sign up for a heart here.

I would be honored if you could take a look at the Sustainer's Circle page, which I'm calling our "Wall of Hearts" and consider being my first new Sustainer of this challenge!

I'll be sharing a lot more about that in the days ahead.

On to the meals! I did it! Day one, done.

Breakfast. I had to get going and hadn't yet had time to crock-pot any pinto beans or boil any rice, so I just did a quick set of breakfast tacos with boiled potato and fresh diced carrots for a little texture. With two eggs scrambled and a bit of seasoning, this wasn't a bad start to the day. Cost was probably less than 30 cents. ▼

Lunch. I was running late to a meeting so I didn't have much time. I had to just do a quick bowl of oatmeal with my banana and raisin ration for the day. Added a little cinnamon from my seasonings allowance, and this was quite a nice little lunch that took less than 5 minutes to make. Maybe 20 cents? ▼

Dinner. I had a little more time on my hands this evening than I did for the other two meals, so I prepared some brown rice to go with my pinto beans that were now ready after overnight soaking and all-day crock-potting (is that a verb?) I placed two of my corn tortillas in the oven at 400f (204c) for 5 minutes on one side and 3 on the other, after basting them with a little canola oil. The tortillas come out nice and crispy like a taco shell. After making some quick refried beans, I spread those onto the tortilla shells, followed by the brown rice and one scrambled egg. It was delicious! ▼

Take Action!

1) Please consider helping me reach my goal to find 50 new "Sustainers"— donors willing to give a small amount each month toward our work helping vulnerable children and trafficking survivors. Learn more and sign up here!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to the work of Peace Gospel's programs helping orphans, at-risk children of the slums, and human trafficking survivors.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!


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