Analysis: Eating At The Poverty Line

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Eating at the Poverty Line
In 2015, 43.1 million or 13.5 percent of Americans were living at or below the poverty line (Proctor). Based on analysis BBC’s analysis, those living at the poverty line in the United States have $4.91 per day to spend on food (Hatton). So for my food immersion project, I lived off of 4 dollars and 91 cents a day for five days. This experience not only shaped the food I ate, but my eating habits, my shopping habits, and my daily routine for those five days and connected me to discussions we had in class regarding food deserts and minority discrimination with real life application. I had $24.55 to turn into 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, and snacks. I did not allow myself to use any condiments or kitchen
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“The link between poverty and food availability has been well-documented since the mid-1990s” but low-income neighborhoods, particularly those with large black and Hispanic populations have “fewer large supermarkets and more small grocery stores bursting with junk-food options and rarely offer healthy whole-grains, dairy products, and veggies” (Brooks). These food deserts narrow people’s options to entirely processed and often prepared foods such as frozen dinners or McDonald’s hamburgers. More than that, the possibility of better food is out of sight, out of mind, and out of reach. I had to walk past the produce section of Wegmans in order to collect the items on my list. Meaning not only did I have equal access to the produce as I did the processed goods, but they were on my mind and with a couple weeks of saving those extra 50 cents, I could incorporate a few apples or a head of broccoli into my meals. A privilege of going to a University with a 62% white population (Binghamton University Students: 2016). So while I remained as authentic to this experiment as I could, my experience is still going to be vastly different from getting even a small taste of what it is truly like to live at the poverty line, much less below …show more content…
It was also a very personal project as my parents had me right out of college and we lived below the poverty line when I was a toddler and little kid. I don’t really remember much about being that young, but I do remember that there was always food and that treats were rare, but we always had them on birthdays and holidays. I don’t remember the way we lived being very different from my friends at school, but I’m not sure I would have noticed if it was. This experience really gave me an appreciation not only for all of the families and individuals who are struggling with low budgets and few resources but particularly for my parents who had to balance ethical and parenting decisions with the reality of finances, all while never burdening myself or my younger

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