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CalFresh Challenge Journal

Elizabeth Archer lives in Ukiah and works at North Coast Opportunities as the Community Outreach Coordinator. From October 20-24, 2014 she documented her experience taking the “CalFresh Challenge” in a daily journal.

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Pre-challenge: I already need a lifeline

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Feeding two people 15 consecutive meals for a paltry $50 is a daunting task – especially when one of those people is a 6’3” firefighter. But those are the rules of the annual CalFresh Challenge:... [Read More]

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Monday: Let the Challenge begin

Monday, October 20, 2014

“No smoke!” I exclaimed as I saw Carson reaching for the fancy, smoky seasoning we like to put on eggs. “It’s not in the budget.” Startled, he put it back on the shelf and sat... [Read More]

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Tuesday: Chicken soup and shame

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Carson and I don’t have what you would call high-paying jobs: He’s a seasonal firefighter and beekeeper, and I work for a non-profit organization. However, the Federal Poverty Level for a family of two in... [Read More]

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Wednesday: Let’s taco ‘bout lard and cheating

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

“You were able to budget for coffee?” I asked incredulously on Wednesday morning as a co-challenge co-worker walked into a meeting with a cup of joe. “This is free work coffee!” he exclaimed. Of course.... [Read More]

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Thursday: Dare to be generous

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My grandma lived through the depression and, like many from her generation, loves a bargain and is loath to throw anything out. After reading my first journal, she sent me this message: “The chicken, bread,... [Read More]

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Friday: Food Day reflections

Friday, October 24, 2014

Did you know that Friday was Food Day? Events took place all over the country. I love that food has become a national topic, and not in the “how can we grow food with... [Read More]