It probably goes without saying that it’s harder to work when you are hungry. I have done pretty well planning a week of filling foods and bringing my meals/snacks to work, so I haven’t been hungry to the point of discomfort like last year, but I have also had few distractions to prevent me from that necessary food prep daily to make sure I have enough fuel for the work day. I can’t imagine how people get their kids ready for school and make it to work on time on a good day, but this week I imagine if they had to do it with no breakfast.

I had an early morning meeting this week, so I put my lunch together the night before. It helped because I was running late and packing a morning lunch was out of the question. I wasn’t counting on breakfast at the meeting, so I threw some peanut butter on a tortilla and ran out the door. I was glad for my healthier breakfast because at the meeting, there was a mountain of donuts that would take me for a serious sugar ride and crash shortly after. I remembered to bring my lunch, but if I hadn’t, that would mean the peanut butter wrap was my only food until quitting time and the donuts would have had more appeal.

My performance at work has been lacking, but I have the luxury of being able to commiserate with a group of colleagues also taking the Hunger Challenge, who are also forgetting what project they were working on. If hunger were a real part of my life, I probably wouldn’t tell anyone at work, but people would surely notice my underperformance which would add a new stress to the existing lack of food problem.

Many people on CalFresh work, but we can all agree that living in California is expensive. A person working on minimum wage could easily end up in the situation of needing food assistance. All it would take for some people is a small rent increase, car trouble or a medical emergency to prevent them from having money left over to buy groceries. The Food Bank can be a help to them, but our resources can only go so far. Programs like SNAP/CalFresh and CalWORKs help get them on their feet to continue being the productive members of society that most [1] are.